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Russian Federation hope for World Cup miracle after Messi, Ronaldo exit

01 July, 2018, 08:10 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • SAINT PETERSBURG RUSSIA- JUNE 26 Ever Banega of Argentina in action during the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia group D match between Nigeria and Argentina at Saint Petersburg Stadium

For all Messi's brilliance at club level with Barcelona, it appears the 2014 final defeat to Germany is the closest he will ever come to winning the World Cup.

So you could say things are looking up for Messi and co.as they head to the Russian city of Kazan for their Round of 16 clash against France on Saturday.

While Mbappe was the most influential player on the pitch, Argentina's Angel Di Maria and France full back Benjamin Pavard fought out a private contest for the best goal of the contest with two magnificent long-range strikes.

Uruguay closed out the game for the win, with the closing stages to what could be Ronaldo's World Cup swansong not showing the best from a man who has scored four goals at Russian Federation 2018 - including a stunning hat-trick in Sochi in the opening game against Spain. He and his teammates then lost in the last two Copa America finals.

"I've done all I can".

"Now is not the time to talk about the future of players and coaches", Ronaldo said.

"I'm very happy, and it's flattering to be compared to a great player like Pele", said Mbappe, born a few months after France won the 1998 World Cup.

Messi nearly single-handedly carried Argentina through a troubled qualifying campaign, but that ultimately only delayed another bitter disappointment.

Sampaoli, 58, said the loss had left him frustrated because the team had given everything in their effort to win the World Cup for Argentina and help Messi secure a first major title playing for his country.

Ronaldo will be almost 38 by the time the next World Cup comes around in Qatar in 2022.

Uruguay coach Oscar Tabarez lauded his side's dedication and commitment on Saturday after a hard-fought 2-1 win over Portugal took them into the quarter-finals of the World Cup.

"It's often hard to be at the level of such a great player".

Early on, the Albiceleste's sheer firepower proved too much as they eased past Nigeria, South Korea and Greece in the group stage before beating Mexico 3-1 in the last 16.

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