Lionel Messi’s fourth Wold Cup journey is at an end as France has defeated Argentina 4-3, knocking Messi and Argentina out of the World Cup and sending France into the next round.
Messi departs after a frustrating tournament where Argentina was close to being eliminated from the first round. Messi’s carries the result of the team on his shoulders, but of all the major tournaments with Argentina’s senior national team: without a trophy, and while carrying the burden of a team defeat on his slight shoulders. At 31, he may choose to make this his last World Cup.
For a few minutes in the second half, Angel Di Maria scored a long-range goal just before halftime, and then Gabriel Mercado turned in a low shot by Messi three minutes into the second half for a 2-1 lead.
But France was simply too good. The teenage forward Kylian Mbappé who won a penalty in the first half with a three-quarter-field run, and then scored two goals of his own four minutes apart to stick in the knife on Argentina.