Messi and Ronaldo bid farewell to the World Cup after losing both their last 16 matches and could have set up a quarter-final tie with each other
Russia bids a sad farewell to both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, who crashed out of the World Cup at the last 16 stage on the same day.
Had Argentina and Portugal both won their ties against France and Uruguay, respectively, they would have set up a quarter-final meeting, which would have meant that Messi and Ronaldo were to face each other at a World Cup for the first time in history.
Messi’s Argentina, however, were unable to quell a rampant France side who had finally found their feet at the World Cup and could only watch as Kylian Mbappe scored two goals in an eventual 4-3 thriller of a win.
Les Bleus opened the scoring through an Antoine Griezmann penalty before Angel Di Maria levelled the scoring – and briefly led before France hit back through Benjamin Pavard and a Mbappe masterclass.
The loss meant that Messi has never been able to score in the knockout phase of a World Cup.
Sergio Aguero netted in stoppage time to make the score 4-3, but it wasn’t enough, leading Messi to experience heartbreak with his national side yet again.
Ronaldo had the opportunity to stake his claim as the GOAT at the World Cup following Messi’s elimination but he, too, is being sent home after Portugal lost 2-1 to Uruguay courtesy of a dazzling Edinson Cavani display.
The Paris Saint-Germain forward opened the scoring early on to make it 1-0 before Pepe equalised after half-time. Cavani struck again soon after, however, to take his tally up to three for the tournament and to end Ronaldo’s hopes of winning a World Cup with Portugal.
Portugal missed a crucial shot in stoppage-time and there were calls for a handball against Uruguay in the penalty area after goalkeeper Rui Patricio went up for a corner in stoppage time, but it was not given.