Cristiano Ronaldo 2014 World cup performance “It's the first game, I was anxious, nervous," Messi said. "It was important to start with a win. We've got to improve certain thi n gs, but it w as impo r tant to sta r t with the th r ee points.” – Messi, following a 2-1 first-round win against Bosnia vs. Bosnia Messi goals: 2-1 June 15 Minutes played: 90 vs. L W June 16 Germany vs. vs. vs. vs. Ronaldo goals: 0 0-4 Minutes played: 90 1-0 Iran June 20 Nigeria June 25 Minutes played: 90 Minutes played: 90 Messi goals: 3-2 Messi goals: W vs. vs. 1-0 Switzerland June 20 Minutes played: 120 Messi goals: 0 W W W D June 22 United States PORTUGAL ELIMINATED AFTER GROUP STAGE June 26 Ghana Ronaldo goals: 0 2-2 Minutes played: 90 Ronaldo goals: 2-1 Minutes played: 90 Belgium Belgium Saturday, July 5, noon (quarterfinals) After the humiliation by Germany in Salvador on Monday, the answer was clear: With Ronaldo not looking anything like the world player of the year, Portgual didnt look anything like the fourth-ranked team in the world.”-Associated Press, following a 4-0 first-round loss to Germany “Only Messi could score that goal,” Iran coach Carlos Queiroz said. “He was cool, calm, he found the right moment, the right space. Because only a player with that dimension has the ability to strike a goal like that.”- Queiroz, after Argentina’s win over Iran First of all, I don’t know whether I deserve this one or not, but whats important is that we moved on to the next stage,” Messi said when honored as man of the match. “It was difficult. We knew it was going to be a hard match.- Messi, after Argentina’s win over Switzerland We’re probably just an average team. Id be lying if I said we were a top team,” Ronaldo said. “Portugal was never a favorite (at the World Cup). I honestly never thought I would be World Cup champion.”– Cristiano Ronaldo, speaking after Portugals 2-2 tie against the U.S. W e knew we had to sco r e th r ee goals and we r e dependi n g on the r esult of the Germa n y game and we could n ’t do tha t ,” R onaldo said after his most lively performance of the tournamen t . W e d e se r v ed mo r e, but th a t s football. W e a r e le a vi n g with our heads held high.” R onaldo, after P o r tugal w as eliminated from the W orld Cup in the group stage Lionel Messi Argentina Portugal Nicknames: Ronaldo, CR7Birthday: February 5, 1985 (29)Club: Real Madrid Nicknames: Messi, The Little Maestro, La PulgaBirthday: June 24, 1987 (27)Club: Barcelona Winner2010 Winner2011 Winner2012 Finalist 2013 Winner 2013 Finalist 2012 Finalist 2011 Battle of the Ballon DorRonaldo dethroned Messi as the world player of the year in 2013 – an award Messi had won the previous three years. Messi's Barcelona team was eliminated in the Champions League quaterfinals. Ronaldos Real Madrid won the Champions League this year, Professional play

SOURCE: FIFA, Flags from CIA World Factbook, Photos from AP. GRAPHIC: Kevin Uhrmacher - The Washington Post. Published June 20, 2014.