Will we witness Messi vs Ronaldo at this World Cup?

Will we witness Messi vs Ronaldo at this World Cup?

Umtiti, is expected to paired Real Madrid's Raphael Varane in the heart of the French defence line, should be handed the huge task of keeping the five-time Ballon dor victor quiet during the encounter.

Many have speculated that this will be Messi's final World Cup, and part of this speculation came from Messi himself, who publicly retired from the team after Argentina's loss in the 2016 Copa America.

Many jokes poured in on social media regarding Argentina's unavoidable "pleasure" of looking at the winking Ronaldo from their hotel windows.

"We will try to stop him but he's not the only one in this Argentina team, they have other strikers", a UK Daily Mail report, quoted Umtiti as saying.

The 91-time global said he would love to see Argentina meet Spain, where he played club football for Barcelona and Sevilla, in the World Cup final.

Yet Argentina turned the game around, Angel Di Maria's stunning long-range strike before the break followed by Gabriel Mercado's fortuitous effort early in the second half.

"France is certainly a candidate to win [the World Cup]".

Messi has spent the tournament trying to hold his unbalanced and ageing squad together, even apparently bypassing coach Jorge Sampaoli to give coaching instructions in the 2-1 win against Nigeria that saved the South Americans from the same fate as the Germans.

Chelsea legend Flo, a guest on Yahoo Sport's fantastic daily World Cup show, expects Argentina and Portugal to triumph as the action heats up.

However, Sampaoli says the conversation was "not how it was characterized". "You will see a team which will have a lot of motivation to win", Sampaoli said at Friday's press conference. This may be the last world cup for either of them and also the last opportunity to prove who is the best in the world. At 31, an age when many players begin to decline, the pressure on him is huge.

"We're preparing for the game in the best way and we've to get used to being on top and winning", said Argentina defender Federico Fazio, with a bruise under his right eye after a training ground incident, sitting alongside team-mate Giovani Lo Celso on Thursday.

Five-time world player of the year Messi underlined his importance to Argentina with a sublimely taken opening goal against Nigeria but that came after his penalty miss against Iceland in a lacklustre 1-1 draw that set the tone for a disappointing campaign so far. N'golo Kante and Paul Pogba create a great defensive midfield, but their presence in front of their defense leaves only four men for France to attack. Let us know in the comments section below.

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