Rio Ferdinand could be the latest Manchester United hero to find himself on Cristiano Ronaldo’s blacklist after his stunning praise for Lionel Messi. The BBC Sport pundit was on hand to review Messi’s performance against Australia, which booked a quarter-final tie against the Netherlands, calling it the best individual display of the tournament.
While that’s not a controversial opinion with Ronaldo having only scored once from the spot, he may be angry considering his recent clash with United dressing roommate Cary Neville.
With Gary Lineker asking Alan Shearer, Pablo Zabaleta and Ferdinand if they could have a ‘Messi romance after the 2-1 win, the former centre- back did just that. He said: “Messi has given the best individual performance we have seen in this World Cup so far. At 1000 km per hour..”
Messi rolled back the years to score the opener for Lionel Scaloni’s side, marking their third straight win since losing to Saudi Arabia. Portugal will face Switzerland in the last 16 after winning Group H despite losing to South Korea, during which Ronaldo collided with a rival player.
When asked to explain the incident, coach Fernando Santos said: “Ronaldo left the field angry, yes, but with the Korean player insulting him and sending him off the field. He answered it and that is completely normal. “I heard what the Korean player said, in English, and I have no doubt about it, and Ronaldo replied: ‘You have to be in a big hurry for me to leave.
Lionel Messi of Argentina during the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022 Round of 16 match between Argentina and Australia at the Ahmad Bin Ali Stadium on December 3, 2022 in Doha, Qatar. As part of the same interview, Ronaldo said of Neville: “It’s hard to hear [that] kind of criticism and negativity about people who play with you, for example, Gary Neville too. “I think they benefit from it (my profile) because they are not stupid. I am the number one followed person in the world. It’s not a coincidence.”