Argentina's Mascherano calls time on career after painful France defeat

Jorge Sampaoli explains touchline exchange with Lionel Messi over Aguero sub

And Ronaldo was the man who helped him off the pitch.

He was then largely bypassed in a 3-0 thrashing by Croatia that put Argentina on the brink of an embarrassing group-stage exit.

The World Cup lost its headline acts overnight as the game's two biggest stars, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, readied to leave Russian Federation after their teams were eliminated in the round of 16.

Messi didn't speak after the game against France, missing the chance to clear up whether or not he will continue to represent his country after their elimination from the World Cup.

Argentina had a 2-1 lead early in the second half but France rallied to win 4-3 and become the first team to advance to the World Cup quarterfinals. The Paris St Germain forward curled in a first-time right-foot shot from Rodrigo Bentancur's pass to beat Portugal goalkeeper Rui Patricio before going off injured in the 74th minute as the Uruguay defence dug in to hold on to their lead.

World Cup 2014The first of those three final defeats came on the biggest stage of all and by the finest of margins in Brazil four years ago.

The European champions equalised when Pepe headed home following a short corner, but Uruguay swept up the field and carved them open once more, with Cavani firing home his second and Portugal unable to respond.

Spain's top scorer, forward Diego Costa (L), warms up with teammates during a training session at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, on June 30, on the eve of their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Russian Federation. In this tournament, I will score him below average.

He explained: 'We looked at different options in an important game and had to make a decision. "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. "But as always, we will bank on the strength of our team as a collective".

"Statistics are made to be broken", Hierro said. We talked about each thing that could have happened during the match.

Hareide said his team would show far more thrust on Sunday. "That's why we need someone to provide us with information".

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