World Cup stars mostly stifled, with one Portuguese exception


Atletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone has made comments regarding fellow countryman Lionel Messi, bringing into question the Barcelona forward's ability to "lift a normal team" after Argentina were beaten comfortably 3-0 by Croatia in their second World Cup group game. They've been bad when they featured Messi and bad when making Messi's game secondary to the team.

Musa's double for Leicester came in a pre-season friendly in Stockholm shortly after he had signed for the then English champions from CSKA Moscow in 2016.

But it took him until October that year to open his Premier League account with a goal in a 3-1 win against Crystal Palace.

"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. "I know not many trainers put things up on the pitch, but this is something I want to do", Hallgrimsson said. Ronaldo came flying in and headed the ball into the net past Moroccan keeper Munir Mohand Mohamedi.

"Following their 2-0 defeat by Croatia last week, Nigeria's chances of joining Group D leaders Croatia in the Round of 16 have been improved dramatically, but Argentina and Iceland remain in contention".

But Argentina is still a slight favorite to advance as the runner-up in Group D after Nigeria beat Iceland on Friday.

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"We know the importance of the last game, it's do-or-die", added Musa. "By the 95th minute we will know who carries the day and, by the grace of God, we are going to work very hard". But there are still plenty of others who believe his legacy is intact, World Cup win or not.

In the post-match press conference, none other than Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said that the failings of Messi at the worldwide level have more to do with what Argentina puts around Messi than Messi himself.

He values Messi at 184 million euros ($214 million), nearly double Ronaldo, who is three years older.

Defensive pair Mercado and Otamendi suffered ankle injuries in the loss to Croatia but are expected to be fit to face Nigeria.

"That's what makes it a attractive goal".