Argentina, Portugal move home after defeat in pre-quarterfinals

09:03 AM | 1 Jul, 2018
Argentina, Portugal move home after defeat in pre-quarterfinals
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MOSCOW - Two biggest stars of soccer world, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, will leave Russia after their teams were eliminated in the round of 16.

Messi’s Argentina lost 4-3 to France and Ronaldo’s Portugal went down 2-1 to Uruguay, leaving the tournament despite its two best known and most loved players.

Ronaldo played a leadership role in that triumph and Portugal coach Fernando Santos said he hopes Ronaldo will continue and help him with a new generation of players.

Ronaldo struck a hat-trick in his opening game — a thrilling 3-3 draw with Spain, including a brilliant late free-kick to level the match.

He also grabbed the only goal in the 1-0 victory over Morocco.

Messi was in headlines when he controlled a cross-field ball with his thigh, showing incredible technique, before a deft second touch and pinpoint finish against Nigeria.

France, Argentina, Uruguay, Portugal, Spain, Russia, Croatia, Denmark, Brazil, Mexico, Japan, Sweden, Switzerland, Colombia, Belgium and England  qualified for the FIFA World Cup 2018 Round of 16 (pre-quarterfinals).

Defending champions Germany are the biggest shock of the tournament till now after crashing out in the group stage following their 0-2 loss to South Korea in a Group F match.