Teenager Kylian Mbappe scored two goals in four minutes to send a youthful France charging into the World Cup quarter-finals with a thrilling 4-3 win over Argentina on Saturday that sent Lionel Messi’s team home.
Kylian Mbappe celebrates with France teammates (Reuters Photo)
Portugal, who won Euro 2016 in France, dominated possession but their attack did not have enough bite to break through the Uruguay defence twice, leaving Captain Cristiano Ronaldo a frustrated figure during the entire match and an end to the country’s campaign with a 2-1 loss.
Edinson Cavani scored a brace for Uruguay (AP Photo)
Such has been the way. Both the already-declared-legends-of-the-game had to take the bow from the World Cup.
Why did it happen to them yet again? Why couldn’t Messi and Ronaldo take their respective countries ahead in the quest for the most coveted trophy on the planet?
It’s the dependency their teams had on them.
They wouldn’t have had all the defense line’s attention had there been others who would have proven dangerous enough to be marked by several studders and the result was that both of them, the G.O.A.T. – Greatest Of All Time (Messi) and his imitator/mocker (Ronaldo) were forced to evict the stage on which they had trained all their life to leave a permanent and glorious mark upon.
Ronaldo mocking Messi
They would have to wait another 4 years to prove that they aren’t legendary club footballers but actually the legends who got the golden blob home on the biggest stage the planet sets for sporting excellence.
Come to think of it, the poor fellows didn’t even get a chance to leave a proper mark on the score sheet every time the ball came to be in their possession.
On the other hand, Uruguay forward Edinson Cavani scored a stunning brace to lead the South Americans to a 2-1 win over European champions Portugal in the World Cup round of 16 on Saturday and set up a quarter-final against France.
Messi provided assists for two goals at the Kazan Arena but the 31-year-old was otherwise subdued in the “false nine” role and his fourth and possibly final crack at winning the World Cup was destined to end in disappointment.
Even though both the teams had Pepe and Di Maria providing those momentary flash of reason to believe that their respective sides were deserved finalists, their over-dependence on their most influential players left them with feeling like Davids in the David-versus-Goliath battle. Goliath is not an individual here, but TEAMS. GOLIATH IN BOTH CASES WAS TEAMWORK that defeated the much celebrated and more talented opponents.
A disappointed Portugal fan
Teams with TEAMWORK win accolades and teams dependent on superstars win the disappointment of losing out!