Lionel Messi has no escape from Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi has no escape from Cristiano Ronaldo

Lionel Messi has no escape from Cristiano Ronaldo

"I would like to thank all of our fans who made such an enormous effort to be here and support us. Now is when we start playing". France turned up in South Korea with Thierry Henry, David Trezeguet and Djibril Cissé - the top scorers in England, Italy and France if my memory serves me well.

With the group games complete, the serious business of the World Cup's knockout rounds start on Saturday with a pair of heavyweight clashes.

The five-goal win was the second-largest margin of victory in World Cup history for the host nation in its opening match, trailing only Italy's 7-1 win over the United States in the 1934 World Cup.

While Mbappe was the most influential player on the pitch, Argentina's Angel Di Maria and France full-back Benjamin Pavard fought out a private contest for the best goal of the match with two magnificent long-range strikes.

The end of the group stages also means we have seen the last of Egypt's Mo Salah, a man who much was expected of but whose shoulder injury sustained in the Champions League final had a major impact on his team's fortunes. We had several meetings among the players to try to clear the air, get back that confidence, work out what had gone wrong. To win a second World Cup is super tough - just look at Spain in 2014 and Germany in Russian Federation, like us knocked out in the group phase. With qualification in the bag, he didn't play the third match.

"But it's not how you characterised it, we had several options in attack and I was just communicating to him that we'd be using one of the strategies that we'd rehearsed".

Perhaps we're getting too far ahead of ourselves, we nearly certainly are, but in seven days' time football fans around the world could be salivating over the prospect of Portugal versus Argentina in the quarterfinals, which would, of course, give us a showdown between Messi and Ronaldo.

Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli insists he is deciding team selection and tactics, and not Lionel Messi. Let us know in the comments section below. Messi doesn't seem to fit into the collective.

Melania Trump returns to border amid family separation outcry
Her staff says she has good intentions, but that message was muddied last week when she visited the border in Texas. The first lady will also have a private briefing at an intelligence operation center at the facility.

Socialist Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez Defeats Corporate Democrat in NY Primary
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, a self-described socialist, defeated 10-term Congressman Joe Crowley in New York Tuesday night. Andrew Cuomo in New York's Democratic gubernatorial primary, the day before the election against Crowley.

Free screenings on National HIV Testing Day in Jersey City Wednesday
In recognition of National HIV Testing Day on June 27th Basic of NW Florida will have testing all day from 8 am to 8 pm. However, the location also has an Out of the Closet store, offers free HIV testing and has an AHF Pharmacy in the OTC.

Portugal winger Gelson Martins and left-back Raphael Guerreiro are in contention to play after they returned to full training. Is it the system?

Additionally, one could also suggest that their chances of glory have even been improved considering the elimination of an opponent that has been responsible for their downfall in each edition of the tournament since that the Germans themselves hosted in 2006. But maybe it's not that surprising.

I can recall Argentina's 1978 victory at their World Cup - one of my first football memories.

"It's often hard to be at the level of such a great player". Also scored a penalty in his team's opening game. Can he keep it going against Ronaldo and Portugal in the last 16? Then France and Denmark kicked the ball around disinterestedly in a mutually beneficial 0-0 draw that allowed both teams to advance.

But, saying Federation Internationale de Football Association was aware of incidents such as that during Argentina's vital group game against Nigeria in St. Petersburg, he added: "We would expect all players, former players, staff, fans, everyone to behave in a respectful manner".

England can have a bit of a defeatist attitude when it comes to the World Cup (or any major worldwide soccer tournament, that is). "Can you beat that, Leo?"

Defending champion Germany was knocked out of the World Cup in shocking fashion. The Germans have structure, a base [i.e. youth system], a sporting project that's very organised.

Related news