Rio de Janeiro: One is the world's best known footballer, the other the most valuable. They have scored the same number of Champions League goals and are loaded down with titles. But superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi are stuck in a World Cup dead end. (Also read: Ronaldo tops rich list among FIFA World Cup players)
Between them Messi and Ronaldo have monopolised the past six world player of the year awards. But each have attended the last two World Cups and failed to even get near the trophy. Messi has scored just one goal at the finals, Ronaldo only two.
Now though the weight of Argentinian hopes rests on Messi's slight shoulders. Portugal are desperate for Ronaldo's goals to get out of one of the most difficult groups in the contest.