Ronaldo refuses to be a “hypocrite” with Lionel Messi’s honest World Cup verdict

Lionel Messi is aiming to win the World Cup in what will almost certainly be his last chance as Argentina prepare for Tuesday’s semi-final against Croatia

Brazilian football icon Ronaldo Nazario admits he would be a “hypocrite” if he claims he wants to see Argentina win the World Cup despite his admiration for Lionel Messi.

Brazil exited the tournament at the quarter-final stage after suffering a penalty shoot-out loss to Croatia in Friday’s game. Hours later, they could only watch as South American rivals Argentina advanced past the Netherlands on penalties to book their place in the top four.

Many fans across Brazil will be hoping that Croatia make it to the final of this tournament eliminating their fierce rivals Argentina in the process, denying La Albiceleste the chance to claim their first World Cup crown since 1986.

Most of the attention around Argentina has been around their captain and star player Messi, who is aiming to win the World Cup for the first time in what is almost certain to be his last chance in a glittering career.

The superstar steered Argentina to the Copa America title last year and winning the World Cup would complete his medal haul and cement his status as the greatest player of all time. He is on track to break a lot of records at this World Cup, but none of that will feel relevant if Argentina lose out on trophies.

Ronaldo – whose goals earned Brazil the 2002 crown four years after they lost in the final to hosts France, after he allegedly suffered a seizure before the big game – has spoken of his thoughts on Messi and Argentina winning trophies.

Lionel Messi has scored four goals for Argentina at this year’s World Cup

Ronaldo said: “I can’t answer for all of Brazil. I can only answer for me. And I’m not so sure! Yes, of course, I would be happy for him (Messi).

“But, you know, we have a great rivalry between Brazil and Argentina. But I’m not going to be a hypocrite to say I’ll be happy for Argentina because that’s not true. But, of course, I see football as romantic. Of course, I will accept (Argentina’s victory) and I will enjoy any title.”

Brazil have not won a World Cup since inspiring Ronaldo led them to the title two decades ago. They were tournament favorites to secure glory this year before falling short against Croatia.

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