The stark contrast between Cristiano Ronaldo joining Saudi club Al-Nassr just three weeks after Messi lifted the World Cup reflects a long-held truth: that one is a great goalscorer and the other is so much more.
Before leaving Manchester United, Cristiano Ronaldo was so intent on staying at the top level that he had actually taken it upon himself to directly speak to figures he knew at elite clubs. Few were interested. There was no offer that would have been acceptable to the Portuguese. He still had strong ideas about his own worth.
Ronaldo’s plan was clearly to go to the World Cup and remind everyone what that worth is, before watching the offers flood back.