It was the first time both soccer heroes facing each other in international football. They have played each other in club football level but, never for their nations. Presently, Messi and Cristiano are the top goal scorers in Spanish League with 24 goals each.
This classic match is regarded as the clash between Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. It is the first time after 1972, Argentina and Portugal facing each other.
Earlier in Sep 2010, Argentina thrashed World Champion Spain 4-1 and in Nov, defeated former world champion Brazil 1-0. Argentinian coach Sergio Batista, who took the charge from football legend Maradona, is hoping for another encouraging performance from his players. Batista aims to prepare his team towards the Copa America in the summer.
"Let's say that Cristiano is incredible, but Messi is from another planet. I don't have enough adjectives to describe Lionel, and there is not one which can define his level. It is a pleasure to coach him, I know that I am privileged," said Sergio Batista.
"Argentina are one of the best national teams on the planet but we are at the same level. We've come to Switzerland to win the match. We know they are tough rivals and have some of the best players in the world playing at the best teams in the world," said Portugal midfielder Danny.
Argentina will play a 4-4-3 formation with Sergio Romero as the goal keeper, Javier Zanetti, Nicolas Burdisso, Gabriel Milito and Marcos Rojo in defence, Ever Banega, Javier Mascherano and Esteban Cambiasso in midfield and Ezequiel Lavezzi, Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria for the attack.
Portugal will deploy Eduardo in nets, Ricardo Costa, Jose Bosingwa, Bruno Alves and Fabio Coentrao in defence, Carlos Martins, Raul Meireles, Joao Moutinho in midfield, and Hugo Almeida, Ronaldo and Nani for attacking.