FOOTBALL: FIFA Best Award: Ronaldo Sets Rivalry Aside, Congratulates Messi

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Brazilian football icon, Ronaldo has praised Lionel Messi for his 2022 Best FIFA Men’s Player – and asked him if he would be available to meet for a coffee in Paris this Week.

Paris Saint-Germain superstar, Messi was named the best player in the world during a glittering ceremony in France on Monday evening as he pipped club teammate, Kylian Mbappe to the top prize.

Messi scored twice in Argentina’s remarkable World Cup final victory over France and also found the net in the dramatic penalty shootout at the end of the encounter. It ensured Argentina lifted the trophy for the first time since 1986 and became the first South American nation to win the competition since Brazil’s success in 2002 – spearheaded by Ronaldo.

Brazil were dumped out of last year’s tournament at the quarter-final stage after suffering a penalty shootout defeat by Croatia and after that outcome, Ronaldo spoke of his openness to set aside the rivalry between the two South American giants in the closing games of the tournament.

After the final, Ronaldo wrote on his Instagram account, alongside a photo of Messi lifting the trophy: “This guy’s football throws any rivalry to the corner – even the historic one between Brazil and Argentina. I saw a lot of Brazilians – and people from all over the world – rooting for Messi in this electrifying final.

“A farewell worthy of the genius who, far beyond being a World Cup star, captained an era. I imagine my friend Diego’s party in heaven. Here, we are millions of all nationalities giving you a standing ovation. Congratulations Messi!”

Ronaldo briefly met with Messi at Monday’s awards ceremony, with the two in good spirits. The former Brazil striker cordially greeted the star before saying: “Congratulations for the World Cup, how beautiful, eh? You deserve it. I’m very happy for you!”

The conversation then progressed into a casual friendly conversation in which Ronaldo asked the star if he would be free to meet up for a coffee this week, as he would be hanging around in the city for a few days.

Victory in Qatar helped further cement Messi’s legacy as one of the greatest footballers of all time. On the domestic front in 2022, he helped PSG to the Ligue 1 title and scored 17 goals and registered 24 assists in 37 appearances