Lionel Messi To Inform AFA Of Argentina Future After Family Consultation

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.

That has prompted Maradona to offer his services, and he had no hesitation when asked if he would take the job while on Venezuelan TV station Telesur, saying: 'Yes, I would do it for free.

Kylian Mbappe has become the young starlet of the French team, and was largely responsible for his side's defeat of Argentina in the last 16, winning a penalty and scoring two goals in the thrilling 4-3 encounter. Ronaldo will be remembered at this World Cup for his hattrick against one of the favourites Spain.

Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo cut a frustrated figure during the entire match and could not add to his four goals in the first two matches, failing to improve his record of failing to score in all six World Cup knockout matches he has played.

In all, Mbappe joins Pele and four other teenagers with multiple goals in one World Cup - Michael Owen (for England in 1998), José Altafini (for Brazil in 1958) Edmund Conen (for Germany in 1934) and Manuel Rosas (for Mexico in 1930). Messi and Ronaldo have made their sporadic marks, but this is a World Cup not at all reliant on the superstar pair - and it is better for it.

Hence, Messi has blown his probably the last opportunity to clinch a world cup and he will retire as a player who will have every trophy, crown, cup and medal in his glittering cabinet except the Holy Grail i.e. FIFA World Cup trophy.

England's route to glory at the 2018 World Cup
Japan had acquired four, Senegal six, which elevated Japan to second place in Group H and eliminated Senegal from the tournament. They said what? James McOnie, "The Crowd Goes Wild" host: "As predicted, England and Belgium both trying to throw this game".

Maradona also tipped Argentina's great rivals to finish up as champions in Russian Federation.

Yet, pushing on through, defying expectations, Russian results, more miracles or just sheer effort at the Beautiful Game, two teams will meet on July 15 for the final and there will be only World Cup victor.

Here is the small 5-second clip posted by Twitter user Ronan, where you can see Maradona passing something from the VIP box. However, we have learnt over the years to take any Don Balon claims with a pinch of salt.

Runners-up in 2014, the South American team were a shell of their former self and many are pointing to tactics of current coach Jorge Sampaoli as the biggest culprit of their fall from grace.

Hareide said his team would show far more thrust on Sunday. We don't need to describe him.

  • Lawrence Cooper