Alongside team-mates including Beto, Rui Patricio and Mario Rui, Ronaldo took centre stage with his arms crossed, shorts pulled up to show off those powerful thighs and a stern stare down the lens – the message here: he means business this summer.
And with Ronaldo now 33 and Messi aged 30 their chances are running out fast with Russia potentially the last opportunity to have a strong assault on the biggest stage.
Ronaldo ticked one major international honour off his to-do list with Euro 2016 but with a Portugal squad lacking the quality boasted by Messi’s Argentina, the pressure falls on the Real Madrid star to have the tournament of his career so far.
A World Cup win for either would provide a major boost in their attempts to be declared the Greatest Of All Time.
Ronaldo has the confidence and self assurance that he is the best but even he will have been surprised to see Messi’s clever play on words in his pre-World Cup shoot.
Wearing the Argentina home shirt for the tournament in Russia and a whole load of other merchandise supplied by sponsor adidas, Messi is pictured holding and stroking various goats.
The goats came from La Granja Natura, a Barcelona-based petting zoo, and their vets were on hand to ensure none were harmed during photography.
According to the write-up in New York-based Paper Magazine, Messi was a natural. ‘I am a big fan of animals,’ he said.
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