Messi will be 35 by the time the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar get underway; Ronaldo will be nearly 38.
Meanwhile, in a bombshell development which followed the naming of Lopetegui as Real's new coach on Tuesday, the Spanish federation confirmed that the 2010 World Cup winners had sacked their coach and replaced him with Fernando Hierro.
One legendary player who did manage to win the World Cup during his career is the Brazilian icon Ronaldo, the second-highest goalscorer in World Cup history behind Miroslav Klose.
With Portugal and Argentina as the last two standing Mourinho is visibly torn between his heart and his head as befits such an "emotional job", and instead of choosing an outright victor, suggests that the final with go to penalties, with Messi and Ronaldo each bagging a goal. He can probably play on for as long as he wants, but it is hard to imagine him returning for a fifth World Cup in Qatar in 2022. "There are no words to describe him", said admiring team-mate Joao Mario at Portugal's base near Moscow this week.
He lasted just 25 minutes before coming off injured in the Euro 2016 final, watching from the sidelines as Eder's extra-time goal shocked France. Without looking to deeply he said this yesterday on Spanish television: "Cristiano is one of the players of his generation and Portugal have a magnificent team, they are the champions of Europe".
Portugal face Spain in Sochi on June 15 in a group which also includes Morocco and Iran.
Ronaldo has a responsibility to unite the squad and focus minds ahead of his fourth World Cup.
Many football fans still believe that in order to be recognised as the greatest footballer ever, you need to win a World Cup, just like Pele and Diego Maradona managed to do during their illustrious careers.