Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli intends to fight to keep the job as long as he can dismissing any uncertainty about his future. He did not speak to the media following the loss.
In the aftermath, with emotions running high, Messi announced his retirement from global football on the back of three final defeats in three consecutive years. In 2016, after Argentina's shocking Copa America loss to Chile, the Barcelona star told reporters his worldwide playing days were over, although he changed his mind less than two months later.
Time to say a sad farewell..
The three-storey portrait of Ronaldo was painted on a building behind the Ramada Hotel to welcome the five-times World Player of the Year when Portugal played in the capital of Tatarstan in the 2017 Confederations Cup.
"I'm sure France has a plan to neutralise Leo and we have a plan to get the best out of him, let's see whose plan works best", he added. But now, Messi needs to remain calm. "We need to fix many things in Argentinian football, but I prefer to do this from inside and not criticise from outside", he said.
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Messi turned 31 last week and his best chance of ending Argentina's 25-year wait to win a major tournament may now be gone. Messi set up the latter two, first sending a shot on goal that Mercado deflected into the net in the 48th.
Only a championship would allow Messi to fully escape Maradona's shadow.
"The Argentineans are tough on him, but he can not do everything on his own".
We doubt his night's sleep will be too bad (unlike Ronaldo, who was kept up by noisy Iran fans the other nights) though - as Messi will too get his own artwork. The win also meant that the host nation has never lost its opening match in any of the 21 World Cups. But it is clear that due to my age that there will always be younger players to consider. For the loser, the prospect of falling behind in the age-old debate of who is the greatest: Ronaldo or Messi?
9 - The nine goals scored by Belgium is more than any team at Russian Federation 2018, with eliminated Panama conceding 11 to claim the unwanted honour of owning the worst defensive record.
"We have complete faith in our abilities", said Sampaoli. "We simply have to thank the fans who came here for their support".
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La Albiceleste were defeated 4-3 by France in their second round fixture in Kazan on Saturday.
But defender Benjamin Pavard equalised with a thunderous strike to pull France level and once more change the complexion of the game.
Sampaoli's players struggled with the set-up and could have been two goals down in the opening quarter, blitzed on the counter-attack by the pace of Kylian Mbappe.
"The reality is that we are very sad", he told FIFAtv. We knew what we wanted to do.
After 48 games in 15 days, 122 goals, shock exits, red cards and numerous VAR controversies, the number of participants at Russian Federation 2018 has been whittled in half and we're a step closer to knowing who will be crowned world champions.
"When Mbappe has an afternoon like today, it's very hard".
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Sergio Aguero gave Argentina late hope but they ran out of time and head home after a rollercoaster ride in Russian Federation that ultimately ends in bitter disappointment for the two-times former champions.