Manchester United have been regularly linked with a move to sign Ronaldo over the past few seasons, although the Portuguese forward has used the Red Devils as a bargaining chip for a new deal at Real Madrid.
It is worth wondering what Ronaldo might have known of Lopetegui's imminent appointment at Real, given the relationship both have with Portuguese super-agent Jorge Mendes, at a time when the forward's own club future remains the source of speculation.
Messi will be 35 by the time the 2022 World Cup finals in Qatar get underway; Ronaldo will be nearly 38.
The Brazil legend also referred to Cristiano Ronaldo and what his arrival in Madrid meant: "The best thing that could have happened was moving to Madrid". "He has extraordinary players and a coach which has given him a plus", he added.
The year prior to that comment, he voted for Messi to win the Ballon d'Or over Ronaldo. "There are no words to describe him", said admiring team-mate Joao Mario at Portugal's base near Moscow this week.
Spain and Portugal will meet on Friday in the city of Sochi, where they will be the star of Group B of the Russian tournament, which kicks off on Thursday. 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".
It has recently emerged that a hairdresser in Serbia is clipping Messi into people's heads ahead of the World Cup.
Just one day before the World Cup begins, excitement levels have risen exponentially, managers have shockingly departed, and José Mourinho, now flying over to Russian Federation, has chipped in once again with his opinion for the outcome of the tournament.
That experience, and inside knowledge of numerous Spain players, will be crucial on Friday by the Black Sea.