At one point today, Gabriel Mercado’s strike was going to send Argentina through to the quarterfinals of the World Cup. There was also a point when Pepe’s header was probably going to see Portugal win on penalties. Pepe.
These were insane situations in time — brief instances that demonstrated the chaos of life and sport.
Because let’s be honest, Portugal and Argentina are pretty trash. Ronaldo and Messi should get replica trophies for dragging them this far.
Matchday One | Matchday Two | Matchday Three | Matchday Four | Matchday Five | Matchday Six | Matchday Seven | Matchday Eight | Matchday Nine | Matchday 10 | Matchday 11 | Matchday 12 | Matchday 13 | Matchday 14 | Matchday 15
Heroes and Villains of the World Cup: Matchday 16
Hero: Kylian Mbappe (France)
The Brazilian Ronaldo was the phenomenon, a creator of singular situations never to be repeated — a gobsmacking combination of all things thrilling. It was unfathomable the way he combined his ungodly physical attributes with his sublime skill set. He was, undoubtedly, a one-off.
Just kidding, we’ve got another one.
“Ronaldo was very, very quick,” said Didier Deschamps after the match. “But I think Kylian is even quicker.”
If you want to argue that Mbappe isn’t yet at Ronaldo’s level, you’re missing the point. You’re also missing the maturation of the most exciting forward of all-time.
Kylian Mbappe was only 19 when he annihilated Argentina in the #WorldCup https://t.co/bwBBrHbTy5— Footy Humour (@FootyHumour) June 30, 2018
Honorable mention: Edinson Cavani (Uruguay)
It’s hard to make Cavani honorable mention because while Mbappe was sensational, the Uruguayan forward actually defeated evil. That's what being a hero is all about. Good riddance, Portugal.
El Matador. What an assassin.
pic.twitter.com/rg8keJDkXh— Bryce Badwan (@BBadss) June 30, 2018
Villain: Marcos Rojo (Argentina)
You could certainly argue that Argentina had no business being in the Round of 16, so it’s only fitting that the man who sent them there, Rojo, plays a massive part in sending them out.
Mbappe just feasted on the guy.
Someone hit the reset button on Marcos Rojo. #FRAARG— Samuel Luckhurst (@samuelluckhurst) June 30, 2018
I want to see more Mbappe v Marcos Rojo. Is that cruel.— Alex Morgan (@alexmorgan13) June 30, 2018
Honorable mention: Internet People
Just STFU. Dumb shit like this needs to stop:
Messi and Ronaldo at the airport like#RingerFC #WorldCup pic.twitter.com/9x5EiH1G3c— The Ringer (@ringer) June 30, 2018
It’s absolutely incredible that Ronaldo and Messi dragged these dumpster fire teams into the Round of 16. This isn’t the NBA — quit social media-ing it like it is.
0 - Neither Cristiano Ronaldo or Lionel Messi have scored a goal in a World Cup knockout match:Ronaldo: 0 goals in 6 games from 25 shots (514 mins)
Messi: 0 goals in 8 games from 23 shots (756 mins)
Kryptonite. #WorldCup #URUPOR #FRAARG #POR #ARG pic.twitter.com/lgydl2UDb8
— OptaJoe (@OptaJoe) June 30, 2018
That’s pretty wild. Whatever. Mbappe is the GOAT.