Messi and Ronaldo are going home

Messi will be 35 when the next World Cup arrives at the end of 2022, shifted from its usual mid-year slot due to the heat expected in Qatar, while Ronaldo will be 37.

Jorge Sampaoli defends his decision to chop and change his side throughout the World Cup following Argentina's exit at the last-16 stage.

Asked about complaints that the 57-year-old had made an obscene gesture at other spectators after Argentina snatched a late win on Wednesday, Fifa's World Cup chief executive Colin Smith told reporters that the former Argentine player was a valued part of its Legends programme to promote the game.

Argentina fell behind before fighting back to take a 2-1 lead early in the second half - to the delight of their most famous fan.

Javier Mascherano, 34, retired from worldwide football in the wake of the France loss, but Sergio Aguero told Tyc Sports he intends to continue representing Argentina.

The two players who have dominated world football for the last decade are heading home from the World Cup in Russian Federation, as a dejected Cristiano Ronaldo joins his chief rival Lionel Messi in taking an early exit.

Even if one or both of them return - and that shouldn't be ruled out until they say they're done with the global game - they will no longer be the focal point in their teams.

Argentina struggled to keep their composure, and Mbappe scored again in the 68th minute, making it 4-2 for France and effectively putting the game out of reach for the Argentinians.

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.

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

His individual trophy collection is nearly more impressive though, winning five Ballon d'Ors and his goal record over the years is among the greatest in the history of the game.

Uruguay moves on to the quarter-finals for the first time since 2010, where they will face France. It was a very hard game but we have not achieved our goal here in Russian Federation.

  • Rosalie Stanley