As a football lover, just imagine having Portugal and Argentina get to the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup final. This is one of the best imaginary stories I have ever read, so, I thought it nice to share it on this platform. Having Portugal and Argentina reach the 2018 FIFA World Cup final, will be the most viewed World Cup final ever, as the whole world would seem to have stopped. Both countries have two great players, regarded as the greatest players of this millennium, breaking and setting new records in the sport of football, we would hope they would do that in the 2018 FIFA World Cup.
Back to the imaginary story of the Russia 2018 FIFA World Cup, the atmosphere is echoing with chants of Messi and Ronaldo. Faith seems to have given the people what they wanted. A grand finale of epic proportions. The two teams walk out on the pitch and as the national anthems of both country play, there are goose-bumps. Every hair on the body is standing straight. As excitement reaches its zenith, it brings with it the realization that this may be it. This could be the last time we see the two titans battle it out in their national colors. But as the referee’s whistle blows, all these thoughts fade away and there is a deafening cheer in the stadium. Game on.
Ronaldo, 33, still looks fit as ever and has assumed his natural role of captain, as he shows with instructions and actions that he was born to be a leader.
Messi, recently turned 31, has dropped a little deep as every attack flows through him. Wearing the armband, he doesn’t need to tell players what to do. The respect for him and his grand stature are enough a statement to tell them what they should do. He lets his feet do the talking.
There are chances after chances, with both keepers in the form of their lives. The frustration on Ronaldo’s face seems evident as Messi remains composed as ever. Ronaldo keeps running down the wings at a blistering pace, getting behind the defense and firing every type of shot on goal. Messi keeps weaving through the defense, playing orgasmic through balls and creating chances for his teammates. It is funny how there are talks of the two players retiring from the international scene, and even then being the two best players on the field.
End to end stuff, there’s no respite for the defenders as it seems that the two won’t let this opportunity go at all cost. The stakes are too damn high. If Portugal wins, Ronaldo would have won every competition a footballer could dream of winning. Already the player with the most personal accolades, it would make his argument to be labeled as the GOAT (Greatest of All Time) almost undefeatable. Messi, on the other hand, maybe the most beautiful player we have ever watched. Leaving defenders in splits literally, all that is missing for him to be labeled one of the best ever is an international trophy, something he seems determined to accomplish.
The national stakes are high as well. To be underdogs for the Euros to going on and winning it and the World Cup, Portugal would have finally delivered on the big stage. Argentina only just qualifying by chance, even though having a squad with a talent of great magnitude, their struggle to win a trophy would finally end. As all these thoughts appear on our minds to realize why this is about much more than just a world cup, it is about pride, passion, glory and most importantly, legacy, the half-time whistle blows. 0-0.
66′ minutes, the players seem to have tired, but not those two. It seems they have been high on adrenaline for the whole match, trying to break through the opposition’s resilient defense. And finally, the moment arrives. After a quick swap of positions, Andre Silva runs down the left wing and fires a cross into the box. The keeper, in a desperate attempt, tries to punch the ball away but it only lands on the edge of the box at the feet of Ronaldo. A thundering one time shot which threatens to tear apart the net, it’s Portugal 1-0 Argentina. Euphoria. Dreams seem to be coming true. This may be it, the moment a country takes flight and reaches the top of the footballing hierarchy. Ronaldo with his trademark ‘Siuuuu’ celebration, as there are tears everywhere around the world. Some of the overwhelmed joy, others of bleak hope and despair.
They say destiny favors the brave, and as we approach the 89′ mark, God offers to La Pulga what could prove to be the deciding moment of his life. A crowning moment for the one whom the fans have proclaimed as the King. Angel Di Maria takes a shot from distance and it hits the hand of Raphael Guerreiro. Penalty. Drama, controversy, pleas, and shouts, as Messi steps up to take the penalty. He puts the ball on the spot firmly and looks at it, as he lets the gravity of the moment sink in. The tension is unbearable, the world is dying out of anticipation. He looks at the keeper and begins his run-up, still his calm usual self. One step, two steps, the crowd get on their feet. He slowly approaches the ball. He lifts his foot gracefully to strike the ball and calmly chips it straight down the middle. A perfect Panenka, as the game draws level. A minute of regulation time to go, 1-1.
Extra Time to Follow:
Comment below to get the gist of the extra-time. Thank you!