France beat Argentina in a highly intense round-of-16 clash, which ended 4-3.
Lionel Messi and Argentina suffered a massive heartbreak as France ended their hopes of winning the World Cup in the round-of-16 clash. Argentina lost in the final of the 2014 World Cup to Germany.
Kylian Mbappe ran the show against Argentina as his pace was too hot to handle for the Argentine defence. The 19-year old French attacker won a penalty and scored two goals in quick succession in the second half, as the European heavyweights ensured a place in the quarterfinals of the World Cup. France will meet Uruguay, who beat Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal.
Argentina’s manager Jorge Sampaoli benched Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paolo Dybala against France, which raised many eyebrows before the match. Messi was visibly left isolated as a false 9, and Argentina lacked the attacking flair in the first half.
After the final whistle, Argentina’s players were naturally distraught, but everyone seemed to have eyes on Lionel Messi, who might have played his last World Cup match.
While French players were celebrating their win, Paul Pogba did something which won the hearts of football fans across the world.
Here is the video:
— Andriy Bima Prasetyo (@andriybima) June 30, 2018
During the post-match interview, Pogba also paid a touching tribute to Lionel Messi.
“When you play against the best footballer of the last ten years, I watch and learn from him,” the French midfielder said about Messi.
“Messi makes me love football. He will always be my idol,” Pogba added.
The tournament will surely be poorer without the two of the footballing greats in Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. However, the fans will be excited about the knock-out stages, as the first day of round-of-16 has provided some excellent football on display.