Web Desk (June 30, 2018): Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo have been part of one of the major storylines at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, and as the knockout stage begins, they’ll both try to advance to the quarterfinals on the same day.
Atomic Flea, Lionel Messi
After struggling to find the net in the first two games, a draw and a loss, Messi scored a highlight reel opener as Argentina qualified for the last 16, thanks to a 2-1 victory over Nigeria. Now after fighting to advance from their group, Argentina will face their toughest test of the 2018 World Cup so far, when they battle France in the Round of 16. The group stage of the tournament was not as tough for France, who defeated Australia 2-1 in the opener, before a 1-0 victory against Peru.Team captain of France, Hugo Lloris said about Messi that there is so much expectation around Messi, which I think is normal, but still I think the Argentina team has a lot to show, they have had difficult times and still have been able to qualify.
CR7, Cristiano Ronaldo
Ronaldo has inserted himself into the Golden Boot race with four goals on his tally heading into the knockout stage. He will lead his side against Uruguay, a team that did not surrender a goal in the group stage of the tournament.Uruguay’s manager, Oscar Tabarez complimented Ronaldo by saying that Cristiano Ronaldo is one of the best strikers in the world. He has a great potential, obviously, and in planning the match, especially focusing on the opponent and considering the level that every player has, what Ronaldo has on top of the qualities, is that he’s the leader of that team.Ronaldo has already punished a top challenger, scoring three times in Portugal’s tournament opening, 3-3 draw with Spain and scored again in the fourth minute against Morocco.
Uruguayan striker Luis Suarez found the net in each of his team’s last two games as he has also started to heat up heading into the knockout phase of the tournament.