Jorge Sampaoli sack: Argentina manager to go as Mascherano demands change

Mae Harvey
July 1, 2018

"From the hands of God, to the fingers of shame", read one headline in Latin America, referring to Maradona's "Hand of God" goal against England at the 1986 World Cup.

Cavani, who forms a unsafe front-line pairing alongside Luis Suarez, later limped off, helped by Ronaldo, sparking fears for his World Cup future.

He was then largely bypassed in a 3-0 thrashing by Croatia that put Argentina on the brink of an embarrassing group-stage exit.

French teenager Kylian Mbappe announced himself in dramatic fashion on Saturday, overshadowing Messi as France beat Argentina 4-3 in the World Cup last 16.

Uruguay will next take on France in the quarter-finals of the tournament on July 6, 2018.

World Cup 2018Messi's World Cup got off to the worst possible start when he missed a penalty in Argentina's opening game, which ended in a disappointing 1-1 draw with tournament debutants Iceland.

Messi and Ronaldo, captain of the Portugal side beaten 2-1 by Uruguay, also on Saturday, had been on a quarter-final collision course but the closest they will now come to each other in Russian Federation is the airport departure lounge.

Sure enough, Maradona arrived into the Kazan Arena with customary understatement, greeting his adoring public with a beaming smile and arms open wide.

The Argentina fans were now in full voice but their joy did not last long before France restored parity after 57 minutes, Pavard pouncing on an over-cooked cross some 20 metres out and lashing it on the half-volley into the net.

Ronaldo will be almost 38 by the time the next World Cup comes around in Qatar in 2022.

Make no mistake about it, their failure at the World Cup - both have still not scored in the knockout rounds in four editions - does not diminish what they have achieved in other competitions.

Spain's top scorer, forward Diego Costa (L), warms up with teammates during a training session at the Luzhniki Stadium in Moscow, on June 30, on the eve of their Russian Federation 2018 World Cup round of 16 match against Russian Federation.

"Now, I see him a lot more comfortable now". "Happy for what happened today, I hope we can go further", Cavani said.

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