Mascherano retires after Argentina World Cup exit

Mascherano retires after Argentina World Cup exit

Mascherano retires after Argentina World Cup exit

Mbappe, the first teenager since Brazilian great Pele in the 1958 final to score two goals in one World Cup match, then took over to send Argentina slumping out of the finals before the quarter-finals for the first time since 2002. "It's a game between Portugal and Uruguay and we will do everything we can to win and that's our focus".

Many World Cup heavyweights, as expected, made it through to the last 16 - Brazil, Spain, France, Argentina (just) - but reigning champions Germany shockingly fell at the first hurdle, failing to make it out of the group stages for the first time in its history.

Cristiano Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Portugal's first game against Spain.

Burns told Press Association Sport: "What we saw was Messi nearly morphing into the kind of ideal Argentine in the sense of the Maradona who leads his men on the pitch, rallies the troops and takes them over". And before the potential Ronaldo-Messi clash, there are some intriguing individual battles as sub-plots in Saturday's matches. Until now France have had to play teams who do not want the ball, teams who want to defend.

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Before the tournament, France were widely tipped for a run to the final but they have failed to click so far, scoring just three times in three matches.

As sarcastic as it may seem, that is the reality of the extent of burden Lionel Messi has been made to bare by their heavily tattooed coach.

Diego Maradona might be a giant of the game's history, Federation Internationale de Football Association said Friday, but even he must show respect to other fans at World Cup stadiums.

Widely considered one of the greatest players ever, the Barcelona star is still looked upon unfavourably by many in his homeland compared with Diego Maradona, who led Argentina to World Cup glory in 1986.

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It goes without saying that Cristiano Ronaldo will be the main man for Portugal against Uruguay.

"I played the last match and tried to help the team as much as I could", Banega said, his very presence in the room suggesting he is viewed within the camp as a significant figure now even if he did not illuminate it with his footballer-speak.

Argentina are staying at Ramada, a four-star hotel that comprises of many rooms overlooking a two-storey painting of the five-time Ballon d'Or victor that doesn't hail from Rosario. He is such a pure Barcelona product but with Argentina right now Messi's in a mess.

While Messi produced only one, albeit sublime moment during the first three games, Ronaldo has inserted himself into the Golden Boot race with four goals on his tally heading into the knockout stage. "The last World Cup marked me a little".

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Sergio Aguero gave Argentina late hope but they ran out of time and head home after a rollercoaster ride in Russian Federation that ultimately ends in bitter disappointment for the two-times former champions.

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