Ronaldo, Messi out of the W/Cup in dramatic knockout openers

Two of football’s biggest players exited the FIFA World Cup in the space of just four hours as the knockout stages kicked off with a bang.

Lionel Messi’s Argentina was the first to depart following an incredible performance by the young France squad before  Edinson Cavani’s led Uruguay edged our Cristiano Ronaldo’s Portugal. The result is that these modern-day icons, who have dominated the game’s individual accolades for the last decade, will be watching the rest of the tournament from home.

Expectations were high for both to perform, with Ronaldo arriving off the back of yet another UEFA Champions League win and Messi having starred in Barcelona’s La Liga triumph. But although both have made it to the final weekend in the past – Ronaldo having finished fourth in 2006, Messi second in 2014 – the last 16 was where their journey ended this time.

With both now into their 30’s, this could well have been their last chance to win the World Cup.

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