Messi, Ronaldo bow out in dramatic knockout openers

Messi to have view of giant Ronaldo mural from Argentina's team hotel

Jorge Sampaoli explains touchline exchange with Lionel Messi over Aguero sub

Ronaldo and Messi are both representing their respective countries at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation, in which the Portuguese has scored four goals so far, while the Argentine has hit the back of the net just once.

The 34-year-old midfielder says "It's time to say goodbye and for the younger players to step in". The Barcelona star is heating up, scoring his first goal of the 2018 World Cup against Nigeria in his squad's last match. "He's (Messi) a player who achieves things that are hard to imagine".

Copa America Centenario 2016Not prone to showing his emotions, Messi sobbed uncontrollably after blasting his penalty over the bar as Argentina lost a second Copa America final in as many years in a shootout to Chile.

As this trio have shown, it is also about teamwork, with France, Mexico, England and Uruguay (who beat Portugal 2-1) exemplifying good team spirit and even distribution of responsibility. The retired Argentine great had, after all, led his country to victory at the 1979 World Youth Championship. Speaking of Cavani, he scored both of Uruguay's in one of this World Cup's greatest performances.

Russia's goalkeeper Igor Akinfeev takes part in a training session in Novogorsk, outside Moscow, on June 29, ahead of their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Spain.

Argentina was 2-1 up at one stage with goals from Di Maria (a thunderbolt) and Mercado.

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Ronaldo will be almost 38 by the time the next World Cup comes around in Qatar in 2022.

Cavani played a 55-yard diagonal ball to Suarez, near the top of the penalty area, and - here's the important part - continued his run afterwards.

"I am sure that Portugal will continue to be one of the best teams in the world".

1270 - The number of minutes Lionel Messi (eight games, 23 shots) and Cristiano Ronaldo (six games, 25 shots) have played in the knockout rounds of the World Cup without ever scoring.

In the aftermath, with emotions running high, Messi announced his retirement from global football on the back of three final defeats in three consecutive years.

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