Uruguay's Cavani has swollen calf, not tear, as France loom

Ross Houston
July 3, 2018

Aguero's fine header set up a tense finish, but France held on to progress to the last eight. Joachim Low's side also recorded 72 per cent possession in their games, second only to Spain (72.8 per cent).

At times he looked disillusioned on the field as Argentine struggled to find anything like their usual style and he drifted deep into midfield in the forlorn hope of influencing games.

At 33, Cristiano Ronaldo must surely be nearing the end with Portugal's national team.

This could certainly be Ronaldo's last appearence at the global soccer stage. If they still would be in their national teams, they would be the top oldest players in the world cup history, a record now being held by Egypt's goalkeeper Essam El Hadary.

Antoine Griezman had already rattled the woodwork when he converted Les Bleus' opening goal following a lung bursting run into Argentina's penalty box by the irrepressible Mbappe.

Similarly for all of Ronaldo's stand-out moments and performances for Portugal they should not dilute the importance of players like Rui Patricio, Pepe and William Carvalho have been to their success.

"France are looking good", he said. They could have proceeded to the knockout stage as the Group B victor until late second half when a controversial penalty goal from the opponent forced them to settle in a draw.

Ronaldo had little impact on the game and coach Fernando Santos had to tackle questions over the talisman's future for his country. Rumours suggest that the 31-year-old could call it quits after another disappointing tournament with the Albiceleste.

That means Lionel Messi's dream to lift the World Cup trophy is over once again, and maybe this time, forever.

"If each one of us manages to do what we know we can, then we can achieve this".

What stood out Saturday against Portugal was Uruguay's comfort without the ball. Andres Iniesta, who scored the winning goal for Spain in the 2010 World Cup, retired from worldwide football after the match.

That became obvious as, even after Messi quickly reversed his retirement from worldwide football, Argentina struggled to even make it to the Russia World Cup.

Portugal's center back Jose Fonte once said that they felt "blessed" to have Ronaldo.

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