By the numbers: Messi and Ronaldo's knockout ducks; Kylian Mbappe emulates Pele

04 July, 2018, 08:22 | Author: Felix Jensen
  • World Cup 2018 Full list of Round of 16 clashes Quarterfinal predictions

On a near-cloudless afternoon by the Kazanka River, Messi and his Argentine teammates were overrun and outmaneuvered by a French team full of skill, speed, youth and, for the first time in this tournament, goals.

There have also been news going round that the 31-year-old could announce his retirement from global football.

This is after Jorge Sampaoli led Lionel Messi and co to a frustrating World Cup outing in Russian Federation where they almost crashed out on group stages.

According to ESPN, Paul said to TyC Sports: "We know that we are playing against probably the best player in the world".

He struck twice in an opening win over Tunisia before bagging a hat-trick in his next outing and is the key figure for a youthful England side.

The loss meant that Messi has never been able to score in the knockout phase of a World Cup.

However, that is as good as it would get for both those sides as the South Americans were dumped out by a Kylian Mbappe inspired France and Portugal were unable to crack the Uruguayan code. Everyone has a preference, they're very different players with nearly identical numbers, but it's an age old debate that will never end.

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Russian Federation came into the tournament derided by their own supporters after a string of defeats in warmup matches but they thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in their opener and then swept aside Egypt 3-1, making even their own sceptical public believe.

Ultimately the chances of his country rest on his shoulders but in this form, Modric could help take Croatia a long way. As Messi and Ronaldo have reached the latter, ever-so-slightly post-peak stages of their career, their shared sole objective has been to outdo the other, and to earn the right to sit one place higher in history's mythical "greatest ever player" leaderboard.

Lukaku scored a brace against Panama and then a brace against Tunisia, and he is in great form heading into Belgium's knockout tie against Japan.

Overall, Ronaldo has scored 85 goals in 154 appearances for Portugal, and became the leading European goalscorer of all time during the World Cup.

That Sunday result would seemingly put the Russian Federation v. Spain game in the top spot for World Cup 2018 ratingswise with Saturday's Uruguay v. Portugal match - but actually the duo are number #2.

Aguero celebrates scoring a goal.

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