Published: Wed, July 04, 2018
Sports | By Brett Lawson

World Cup roars into knockout phase World Cup roars into knockout phase

World Cup roars into knockout phase World Cup roars into knockout phase

It has reportedly been revealed when FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi will make his final decision regarding whether or not to retire from worldwide duty with Argentina.

The day which started with Messi being knocked out ended with his rival as the world's best player, Cristiano Ronaldo, eliminated as well.

However, if Neymar hopes to become the first player since Kaka in 2007 to win the Ballon d'Or other than Messi and Ronaldo, then he must help lead his country to World Cup glory. "Leo?" newly-painted above the Ronaldo portrait.

Ronaldo scored a hat-trick in Portugal's opening group game against Spain and added another goal in their match against Morocco, while Messi got off the mark in the 2-0 win over Nigeria that secured Argentina's place in the knockout stages.

Messi and Ronaldo, captain of the Portugal side beaten 2-1 by Uruguay, also on Saturday, had been on a quarterfinal collision course but the closest they will now come to each other in Russian Federation is the airport departure lounge.

A piece of Messi inspiration set up Argentina's second goal for Gabriel Mercado to put the South Americans 2-1 ahead just after halftime. Many football fans, this news annoyed, because without these two geniuses the world Cup could be not such interesting and entertaining.

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It was the latest in a series of arguments about football and the relative merits of the world's two best players. His best performance was against Spain; three goals and an nearly flawless game, with 94 percent pass completion.

He was also the player who had the most shots at goal in the group stages with 17, yet only one of those has resulted in a goal (against Costa Rica).

His family later discovered a letter in his bedroom in which the man explained that he couldn't bear the pain of seeing his beloved Argentina, and his hero Messi, lose.

The Atletico Madrid forward has thus far scored two goals at the World Cup, both of which were penalties, and the French attacker still has another level to reach at this tournament.

Maradona has already spent one spell at the Argentina helm, with that stint taking in the 2010 World Cup.

While fans and experts mourned the end of era on social media after Messi and Ronaldo's exits, there were also plenty of jokes cracked at their expense. We don't need to describe him. However, we have learnt over the years to take any Don Balon claims with a pinch of salt.

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