Throughout sports today there are incredible matchups such as LeBron James vs Kevin Durant or Peyton Manning vs Tom Brady, but perhaps the most over looked matchup of superstars has to be Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.
Ronaldo, the 27-year-old Portuguese forward, and Messi, the diminutive star from Argentina, are the two most feared players in soccer today. Representing the two premier teams in La Liga, Ronaldo has played for three years on Real Madrid while Messi has spent his entire professional career at Barcelona. Since the pair have been together in Spain, they have been in almost constant competition for the Pichichi, awarded to the league's top scorer. Last season Ronaldo's 46 goals incredibly weren't enough to claim the prize, as Messi hit the back of the net an astounding 50 times. The dominant accomplishments of both Messi and Barcelona have overshadowed Ronaldo's spectacular achievements. So what can Ronaldo do to close the gap?
An international championship would do the trick. And Cristiano Ronaldo has put himself and his team into position to do exactly that at Euro 2012. Thus far in the tournament, the Portuguese captain has not missed a minute of playing time, scoring 3 goals and recording 29 shots.
Portugal has been largely over shadowed by their Spanish neighbors' incredible dominance in the past four years. A win for his country at the European Championships would catapult Ronaldo into a new level of superstardom, and a place in the pantheon of all-time great footballers such as Pele, Diego Maradona and, of course, Messi.
He hopes to send Portugal to victory against La Roja on Wednesday.