RUSSIA, NNC - The World Cup lost its main topics on Saturday as two of the biggest stars, Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, prepared to leave Russia after their team were eliminated in the last 16.
Messi's team Argentina lost 4-3 to France and a few hours later Ronaldo's Portugal team was defeated 2-1 by Uruguay, leaving the tournament without two of the most popular and most beloved players.
Given their age - Messi at 31 and Ronaldo at 33 - this tournament could be the last for the world to see the couple in action. Both players have monopolized the global soccer stage by winning the world's best player award for the past 10 years, and now on the biggest stage of the World Cup all is over.
If Barcelona's forward player Messi, who had previously intended to withdraw from the Argentina team in 2016 before subsequently changed his mind, does not continue until the 2022 World Cup in Qatar, he will end his career without a major trophy for his country.
After winning a gold medal with Argentina at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, many expect Messi to move a little further to bring his country to glory at the World Cup or at least the Copa America.
But despite Messi's genius - and supported by some talented teammates - Argentina remains without a trophy - losing to Germany in the 2010 World Cup quarterfinals and suffering the same fate in the 2014 final in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.
Meanwhile, the Real Madrid striker Ronaldo will also be very disappointed to have to go home earlier than planned from Russia. He has at least been entertained for winning his first European Championship for the country, two years ago in France, reported Antara on Sunday (7/1/2018).