Jorge Sampaoli explains touchline exchange with Lionel Messi over Aguero sub

Uruguay Coates not just focusing on Ronaldo

World Cup 2018 Uruguay not just focusing on Cristiano Ronaldo Getty Images

Ronaldo is 33 years old, and Messi 31-meaning Russian Federation is, realistically, their last chance to win the Cup.

Kylian Mbappe, France's 19-year-old striker, was instrumental in defeating Messi's Argentina while his clubmate in the French capital, Edinson Cavani, scored the brace which condemned Portugal to defeat.

And amid speculation he could retire from worldwide football for the second time in his career, Messi did not stop in the post-match mixed zone.

France and Uruguay have qualified to the 2018 FIFA World Cup after their win over Argentina and Portugal respectively in the last 16 match this morning.

It is being claimed in Argentina that Messi, for the first time in the tournament, will be deployed as a false No.9, with both Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain left on the bench and Christian Pavon and Angel Di Maria playing in advance of Messi instead.


Sampaoli says Argentina will "play with a knife between their teeth" when they take on France, and he is expected to make a significant change to the side's attacking line-up.

Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi take centre stage as the World Cup shifts into high gear at the weekend with the start of the knockout matches in the loaded top half of the draw.

The pressure of trying to match Portugal's Cristiano Ronaldo is following Argentina star Lionel Messi wherever he goes.

But while Ronaldo has scored four of his team's five goals at the showpiece event, Coates said Uruguay could not afford to focus only on the star forward.

"It was a insane game where we did not start well, we recovered and we turned it around, but the equalising goal from them hurt us a lot".


Portugal's goal was the first Uruguay had conceded in 597 minutes of football, dating back to their 2-1 loss to Austria in November.

- Ronaldo has played 514 minutes of football in the knockout stages of the World Cup, but has failed to score or provide an assist.

Ronaldo had few chances in the match.

"If we do not control the play then it will be a physical game which would not suit us".

There are two more round-of-16 matches tomorrow morning.


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