Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo can nonetheless compete at excessive stage regardless of age, FOX Sports activities’ Stu Holden says

The eyes of the soccer world will likely be glued on Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo as they each take the worldwide stage for the Copa América and UEFA Euro tournaments, respectively, this summer time.

Messi will compete for Argentina, two years faraway from his first World Cup title. Ronaldo will take the pitch for Portugal, hoping to win the event as soon as extra.

This yr, each gamers come into their tournaments seemingly within the twilight of their careers. Messi, 36, has been dominating Main League Soccer with Inter Miami. Ronaldo, 39, is the highest goalscorer within the Saudi Professional League with Al Nassr.

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Cristiano Ronaldo of Juventus F.C., left, avoids Lionel Messi of Barcelona through the UEFA Champions League Group G stage match at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, on Dec. 8, 2020. (David Ramos/Getty Photos)

FOX Sports activities soccer broadcaster Stu Holden mentioned he is not prepared to consider two of the best soccer gamers on the planet are completed with their careers simply but.

“I don’t need to guess in opposition to these guys. One of many nice skills within the sport as of late is a capability to remain wholesome and carry out at a excessive stage,” Holden informed Fox Information Digital in a current interview. “And I’m frequently amazed. I do know I’m a man who misplaced my profession early via accidents, however the elite of the elite, it’s their capability to carry out underneath stress and ship frequently on the sphere, however they’re on the sphere.”

“These guys not often have had main accidents. Should you take a look at Ronaldo, he’s most likely acquired the physique of a 21-year-old nonetheless in his physique. And but, Messi has been capable of evolve and alter his sport and adapt to his present bodily restraints, which he nonetheless has that intense pace and acceleration and ending capability.”

Holden mentioned he would go so far as to guess each Ronaldo and Messi will likely be taking part in for his or her respective golf equipment when the World Cup involves the USA in 2026.

“If we are able to journey this Messi vs. Ronaldo, within the comparability that has most likely pushed them internally as nicely of their motivation to maintain pushing, and so long as they’ve that drive, there’s no motive these guys can’t nonetheless be taking part in at a excessive stage for a few years to return.”

Lionel Messi vs Ecuador

Lionel Messi of Argentina is proven throughout a sport between Ecuador and Argentina at Soldier Area in Chicago on June 9, 2024. (Michael Miller/ISI Pictures/Getty Photos)

FOX SPORTS’ ALEXI LALAS, STU HOLDEN TALK PREPARATION BEFORE ‘SUMMER OF SOCCER’ KICKS OFF

Cristiano Ronaldo vs Croatia

Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal is proven throughout warm-ups for the Worldwide Pleasant match in opposition to Croatia in Lisbon, Portugal. (Henrique Casinhas/SOPA Photos/LightRocket through Getty Photos/File)

FOX Soccer broadcaster Alexi Lalas mentioned Ronaldo and Messi competing within the Euro and Copa América, respectively, is another excuse why these tournaments matter.

“There was a time not too way back earlier than Messi was a champion of the world the place it didn’t go nicely by way of the ultimate product, and he retired,” Lalas mentioned. “I’m simply fascinated this summer time, because it pertains to 2026, what he seems to be like with Argentina now within the first time for the reason that World Cup and, extra importantly, how a lot has modified relative to how we take a look at him. Not that he’s nice, however within the context of America and his new yard and his neighborhood and [what] he’s doing with Inter Miami, versus Cristiano Ronaldo over there in Saudi Arabia, and for lots of people, it’s form of out of [sight], out of thoughts.

“Though they’re competing in tournaments, and so they’re occurring on the identical time, there’ll [still] be the inevitable evaluate and distinction with what’s happening and the fates of each of those groups relative to those two unbelievable gamers.”

Copa América and UEFA Euro 2024 will each be offered on FOX Sports activities from June 14 to July 14, as a part of a “Summer season of Soccer.” 

FOX Sports activities would be the house of UEFA Euro for the primary time and can increase protection of Copa América in the USA.

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FOX Sports activities will current 78 matches over 30 days. UEFA Euro matches, held in Germany, will begin at 9 a.m. ET, midday ET and three p.m. ET, and Copa matches are held within the afternoon and night within the U.S.

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