Opinion: Cristiano ahead of Messi in race for World Cup glory
- Andrew Warshaw of insideworldfootball.com claims Ronaldo's hat-trick leaves Messi out in the Icelandic cold
"A freekick that will be talked about for years to come followed, 24 hours later, by a penalty miss that was equally, in its own way, memorable if only for the context involved.
"He may not be universally popular but Christiano Ronaldo has emphatically won the first round in his personal battle with Lionel Messi in terms of World Cup glory.
"Certain goals define certain players and experts are still working out just how Portugal’s 33-year-old talisman managed to find the only inch of space behind the Spanish wall to earn his country a last-gasp point in a 3-3 draw that was widely considered to be one of the classic World Cup fixtures of all time."
Must watch: Cristiano Ronaldo's last-minute equaliser, with sensational commentary from Portuguese broadcaster Nuno Matos, Telemundo's Andres Cantor and Martin Tyler. #worldcup #PORESP #POR pic.twitter.com/XRByZ1P6lx— Luke Henriques-Gomes (@lukehgomes) June 16, 2018
"Fast forward 24 hours and Messi’s chance to match Ronaldo’s feat. Instead the mercurial Argentine’s most notable contribution was seeing his penalty pushed away as Iceland again defied all the odds to take a point on their World Cup debut.
“It would have changed the script,” said Messi. “Obviously it hurts. We have the bitterness of not being able to take the three points that we deserved. To start with winning is always important, now we have to think about Croatia. We will try to get over this quickly.”
"Messi contributed 11 shots, his personal record in a World Cup tie but he played as if he was carrying the weight of his nation’s World Cup hopes on his shoulders – which of course he is. And when the opportunity came to win the game, he blew it.
"Remarkably he has now failed to score from four of the last seven penalties he has taken for club and country."