Sunday, 22 July, 2018

Mascherano calls time on career after painful France defeat

Messi to have view of giant Ronaldo mural from Argentina's team hotel Jorge Sampaoli explains touchline exchange with Lionel Messi over Aguero sub
Domingo Copeland | 01 July, 2018, 08:10

Real Madrid forward Ronaldo, a European champion with Portugal two years ago, will be 37 by the time the next global showpiece rolls around - meaning it is unlikely he will improve on a run to the semi-finals in 2006.

Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli said it was not the time to "evaluate my resignation" after his team was beaten 4-3 by France and eliminated from the 2018 World Cup in the round of 16, while adding the team failed to set their talisman Lionel Messi up for success. Portugal seemed like one of the teams that could have won the entire 2018 World Cup, but they're not going to watch the rest of the tournament from home.

Ronaldo will be 37 by the time of the next World Cup in Qatar, but he would not be drawn on whether he planned to extend his global career.

"By the look of their performances today, they looked exhausted".

"It's time to say goodbye, it's time to support from outside", Mascherano said. Argentina have many options and we have a lot of great players.

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The 1-1 scoreline wouldn't last long, though, as Cavani scored his second of the day in stunning fashion - a perfectly placed curler from the edge of the penalty area to restore Uruguay's lead just seven minutes later.

Schmeichel was full of praise for an attacking duo he had warned about before the game. In this tournament, I will score him below average.

"He's very important to Uruguay..." "Pele is another category, but it's good to be among these people". "They have never scored like that before", the 63-year-old said ruefully. Three minutes into the second half and Argentina were ahead, Messi curling a shot hopefully towards Lloris and right back Mercado reacting instinctively to deflect the ball into the net.

Former Denmark and Manchester United 'keeper Schmeichel said experienced Portuguese stopper Rui Patricio could have done better. The Brazilian legend tweeted to the Frenchman: "Congratulations, @KMbappe, 2 goals in a World Cup so young puts you in great company".

Spain have a bad record against host nations at major finals - they have never won in eight attempts and coach Fernando Hierro played when minnows South Korea knocked out his Spain team on penalties in 2002.

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