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Messi and Ronaldo: The Penalty Parallels



Messi and Ronaldo: The Penalty Parallels

Argentina captain, Lionel Messi ironically missed a penalty kick just days after his rival, Cristiano Ronaldo missed his for Portugal. Why isn’t this surprising? And where have we seen this movie before?

The recent miss by Lionel Messi at the Copa America for Argentina against Ecuador is reminiscent of several instances where both he and Ronaldo have faltered from the penalty spot in critical moments.

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In the 2016 Copa America Centenario, Messi missed a decisive penalty in the final against Chile, leading to Argentina’s loss. Similarly, Ronaldo missed a crucial penalty in the 2008 UEFA Champions League final shootout against Chelsea, though Manchester United ultimately won the match.

The timing of these misses adds to the narrative of their storied rivalry. Just days before Messi’s miss, Ronaldo’s shot against Slovenia in the Euros hit the post, drawing uncanny comparisons between the two legendary players’ recent struggles from the spot.

Messi and Ronaldo: The Penalty Parallels

Euro 2024: Ronaldo in tears after penalty miss against Slovenia - Vanguard  News

Physical Contest and Relentless Pursuit

The match between Argentina and Ecuador was intensely physical, with both teams displaying relentless energy and determination.

Argentina, however, proved to be more relentless in their pursuit of victory. Their grit and composure under pressure ensured their progress to the semifinals, showcasing the depth and resilience of the team even when their star player faltered.

For the game against Ecuador itself, the match saw a stunning late equalizer from Ecuador’s Kevin Rodriguez, ending the game 1-1 in regular time before Argentina triumphed in the penalty shootout.

Copa America: Lionel Messi Misses Penalty But Argentina Reach Semi-finals  with Shootout Win Over Ecuador - News18

Messi and Ronaldo: The Penalty Parallels

The game reached a fever pitch in stoppage time when Rodriguez, brilliantly set up by John Yeboah, nailed a header from the center of the box to the bottom left corner, leveling the score and pushing the contest to a penalty shootout. With no extra time in Copa America knockouts until the final, the outcome had to be decided from the spot.

In an unexpected twist, Lionel Messi, who broke the all-time record for Copa America minutes played during the match, missed a crucial penalty in the shootout, his shot hitting the crossbar and flying over. This miss just days after his long-time rival, Cristiano Ronaldo, also missed a penalty in the Euros against Slovenia, drew striking parallels between the two football icons.

However, Julián Álvarez, Alexis Mac Allister, and Gonzalo Montiel successfully converted their penalties, with Montiel sealing the win by converting twice due to an error on the scorecard to salvage Argentina into the semi-final. Ecuador, on the other hand, missed two of their four attempts, allowing Argentina to secure a spot in the semifinals.

Both players, despite their rare moments of fallibility, continue to inspire and captivate fans with their extraordinary talent and fierce competitiveness. The drama of missed penalties, mirrored on the global stage, only adds to the rich tapestry of their legendary careers.