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Mascherano calls time on career after painful France defeat

01 July 2018

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.

Griezmann's strike from the spot was not as clean as his free kick but goalkeeper Franco Armani went the wrong way and the Frenchman converted his second penalty of tournament. Argentina continued to fight over the last 20 minutes but Aguero's header from Messi's cross in stoppage time was too little, too late. The Argentine haggles, he creates, he has a style that I like a lot. I'm sad, I'm frustrated - I think that's quite normal.

Messi and Ronaldo, captain of the Portugal side beaten 2-1 by Uruguay, also on Saturday, had been on a quarter-final collision course but the closest they will now come to each other in Russian Federation is the airport departure lounge. Portugal's run for the World Cup came to a screeching halt, thanks to Luis Suarez, 31, Edison Cavani, 31, and the rest of La Celeste. 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.

The Paris Saint-Germain forward opened the scoring early on to make it 1-0 before Pepe equalised after half-time. "We are aware of what you are referring to in terms of previous matches", FIFA's chief competitions and events officer Colin Smith said on Friday.

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Portugal had 61 percent of the possession and four times as many shots at goal as the Uruguyans but Tabarez dismissed possession as a mere statistic and said what mattered was creating and converting chances. "If it were not for the injuries, he (Cristiano Ronaldo) would have been the best of all history", he said.

Remarkably, neither Ronaldo nor Messi have managed to score a single goal in a knockout tie in four World Cups going back to 2006.

After Uruguay clinched victory to set up a last-eight showdown with France, Cavani told A Bola: "It's very exciting".

Mascherano calls time on career after painful France defeat