Messi, Ronaldo set to face each other

Updated: 09 February 2011 23:15 IST

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will finally meet in an international when Argentina faces Portugal on Wednesday.

Messi, Ronaldo set to face each other
©

Geneva:

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo will finally meet in an international when Argentina faces Portugal on Wednesday.

Longtime club rivals in the Champions League and Spain, the gifted forwards have never come up against each other on national team duty because the friendly in neutral Switzerland is their countries' first meeting in almost 40 years.

The historic clash arrives with Barcelona's Messi and Real Madrid's Ronaldo locked at the top of the Spanish scoring chart with 24 league goals each.

Portugal coach Paulo Bento downplayed talk of a personal duel between the two most recent winners of FIFA's world player award.

"As far as I'm concerned this is Portugal against Argentina," Bento said. "It's not about individual rivalry. I doubt whether Ronaldo or Messi see it that way, either."

The last time Ronaldo shared a pitch with Messi, Madrid slumped to a 5-0 defeat against an inspired Barcelona team in November.

Messi's mesmerizing play for the Spanish champions helped ensure that last month the 23-year-old Argentine lifted the FIFA Ballon d'Or trophy after being named the best in the world for a second straight year.

Topics : Football Argentina Lionel Andres Messi Portugal
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