Ronaldo goal ends Morocco’s World Cup

Ruben Hill
June 24, 2018

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Could Messi have been thinking about his rival Cristiano Ronaldo, who has dominated the World Cup with four goals in two games for Portugal?

Portugal will take the large part of that experienced squad to Russian Federation.

"Yes, he is playing well, but if you really look at what he has done, he has scored one penalty, one free-kick, one goal from a corner and one with a shot that David de Gea should have saved".

But the Croatians go into the game in ebullient mood after a comfortable 2-0 win over Nigeria, and will look to add to the frustrations of Messi who has failed to replicate the glories of his Barcelona career on the worldwide stage. They were humiliated 3-0 by Croatia on Thursday.

As for Messi, whose 31st birthday is just days away, this will likely be the last World Cup of his prime, meaning that he could very well end his career without ever winning the biggest prize in World Cup soccer, something his detractors will never forget. Ziyech returned to the squad after making peace with coach Herve Renard.

Indeed, Germany likely need to beat Sweden - who battled their way past South Korea - to keep alive their hopes of becoming the first team since Brazil in 1962 to successfully defend the World Cup.

Buenos Aires newspaper headlines described the team and result as "Broken" and "Humiliating", but Lovren rejected the idea that Croatia expected Messi to make life hard.

The Iranians went unbeaten in 18 qualifying games across two rounds.

The World Cup produced three tight games on Wednesday as Portugal, Spain and Uruguay won but once again the favourites failed to shine.

If they don't, Joachim Low's men would be facing a surprise first-round exit that would only add further mystique to the curse of the World Cup winners!

The competition is not even a week old, but the World Player of the Year's message is clear: "Catch me if you can".

"The number of casual fans around the world that the World Cup touches does create a huge opportunity for these players to really build their brand", said Matt Hill, senior vice president for global sports consulting, at GMR Marketing in NY.

Other reports by Click Lancashire

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