With both Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi having two international trophies despite a plethora of goal-scoring records and club titles, the FIFA World Cup was set as the ultimate bar to decide the GOAT debate. And the 2022 edition in Qatar was billed as their last dance. But while Portugal suffered a shock quarterfinal exit, Messi ended Argentina’s 36-year-long wait with the one trophy that has eluded his illustrious career. So is the GOAT debate settled? While fans of both the legends have still been arguing over it on social media, FIFA has delivered a blunt verdict on it.

Both Portugal and Argentina were among the favourites in the tournament and with the 2022 FIFA World Cup being their final possible appearance, fans hoped for a fitting final to decide the GOAT debate. And until the quarterfinal, the dream final looked set before Morocco stunned Portugal.

Argentina, on the other hand, made their way into a second World Cup final under Messi’s captaincy. The captain scored twice as Argentina and France played a 3-3 draw until end of extra time before La Albiceleste won 4-2 via penalty shootout.

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The World Cup win for Messi left fans believing that the GOAT debate has now been settled with the Argentine legend completing football. However, FIFA gave its own verdict on the debate.

“The GOAT debate is settled. The ultimate prize is now part of the collection. The legacy is complete,” the tweet read as Messi was handed the Player of the Match award in the final.

Ronaldo however believes that the debate will continue as his comment before the start of the World Cup in Qatar has once again resurfaced.

“Even if I win the World Cup that will continue. Some people like me more, some less. It’s like in life, some like blondes, some like brunettes,” he had said. “I have always had to show what I can do year after year. I would love to win this tournament. I’m ambitious but if you tell me I won’t win any more tournaments I would still be happy given all I have won. In the history books, all other records will be there. But obviously, a World Cup on the shelf wouldn’t be bad. It would be a dream.”

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