Lionel Messi toppled by this UAE striker, as Cristiano Ronaldo remains watchful
Lionel Messi of Argentina is a modern-day great alongside Portugal's Lionel Messi. However, this UAE striker seems to be challenging them at the international level, surpassing the Argentine, while the Portuguese is seemingly next. Here's how.
The Argentine great has been surpassed by a player from an unpopular nation in what could be considered a heartbreak for Lionel Messi fans. United Arab Emirates striker Ali Mabkhout has toppled the Argentine to go second in the most active goal-scorer in international football.
UAE rout Malaysia 4-0 in the FIFA World Cup Qualifiers on Friday, as Mabkhout scored a brace. With his twin strikes, he took his international goal-scoring tally to 73, going past Messi and India's Sunil Chhetri (72).
Mabkhout is now 30 goals away from equalling leader Cristiano Ronaldo of Portugal. However, with Ronaldo showing no signs of slowing down, it is safe to assume that the Portuguese will likely extend his feat in the upcoming UEFA Euro 2020.
Meanwhile, Ronaldo himself is just six goals behind the all-time highest international goal-scorer Iran's Ali Daei (109), a feat he is likely to break this year. As for Messi, he could reclaim the second spot if he manages to perform decently in the upcoming Copa America 2021.
In the meantime, Ronaldo warmed up with a friendly against Spain in Madrid that ended goalless. However, things did not go his way from fans perspective either, as he was booed and whistled by the fans, reminding him of his La Liga days with Real Madrid. Furthermore, with the game being played at the home ground of Madrid's local rival Atletico Madrid, the booing was even intense, reports MARCA.
At the same time, Ronaldo's future with his current Italian club Juventus remains doubtful following a challenging season, despite having a year left in his contract. While his girlfriend Georgina Rodríguez confirmed that he would be staying in Turin, reports suggest that Massimiliano Allegri's club won't hold on to the Portuguese if a good bid arrives. Manchester United and Paris Saint-Germain are the frontrunners for him.
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