sport news Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi both saw their World Cup dreams ended for ...

Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo were dumped out of the World Cup on Tuesday as the first day of knockout football in Russia saw the game's two greatest players crash out, perhaps never to return to football's biggest stage. 

Messi's Argentina were blown away in the afternoon by France in Kazan while four hours later and 1400 miles further south, Ronaldo's Portugal fell to Uruguay. 

Here Sportsmail examine which player performed better amid the disappointment in what is likely to be their last World Cups, at least while at the peak of their powers. 

Cristiano Ronaldo shows his frustration against Uruguay

Lionel Messi feels the pressure against France

Cristiano Ronaldo (left) and Lionel Messi (right) both exited the World Cup on Tuesday


This one's fairly straightforward. Ronaldo scored four goals in Portugal's four games, Messi scored once in Argentina's four.  

Ronaldo began with a bang as he produced a show-stopping hat-trick including a stunning late free-kick to earn Portugal a 3-3 draw with Spain, equalling his haul from the previous three World Cups combined in one match. 

The 33-year-old has morphed into a penalty box player over the past season with and struck again in the following match, scoring the only goal of the game against Morocco with a brave early header. 

Ronaldo scored four times in Portugal's opening two matches of the World Cup in Russia

Ronaldo scored four times in Portugal's opening two matches of the World Cup in Russia

Against the more dogged defensive sides of Iran and Uruguay, Ronaldo drew blanks as he failed to leave his mark in Portugal's final two matches. 

While Ronaldo netted a hat-trick, Messi's opening game got off on the wrong foot as he saw his tame penalty saved by Iceland keeper Hannes Halldorsson in Argentina's 1-1 draw with the minnows. 

His lone strike came when Argentina needed him most, in their final Group D fixture against Nigeria as he netted arguably the goal of the group stages to open the scoring and send his country on their way to victory. 

Messi celebrates his outstanding goal for Argentina against Nigeria in their final Group D game

Messi celebrates his outstanding goal for Argentina against Nigeria in their final Group D game


Unsurprisingly Messi provided more assists than Ronaldo but surprisingly the Argentine set up his team-mates just twice in total, both in the France game. 

Dropping deep against Iceland and playing too far forward against Croatia, Messi was struggling to influence matches in Jorge Sampaoli's lopsided system. 

His two assists came via a deflected shot, off Gabriel Mercado, and a pin-point cross to tee up Sergio Aguero as Argentina succumbed to a 4-3 defeat by France. 

Ronaldo has long-since learned to conserve his energy and is increasingly less involved in Portugal's build-up play, preferring to add the finishing touches to moves.

Portugal's two goals not scored by Ronaldo were Ricardo Quaresma's wonder-strike against Iran and Pepe's header from Raphael Guerreiro's cross against Uruguay. 

Key stats

Again a reflection of Messi's greater burden of responsibility with Argentina than Ronaldo's with Portugal, the key statistics show the Barcelona superstar was much more heavily involved in getting his country going. 

Messi attempted 34 dribbles, completed 205 passes and created 10 chances for his team-mates during his four matches this tournament as he desperately tried to lead Argentina to victory by taking matters into his own hands. He even attempted five tackles, four of which he won.

In contrast, the modern minimalist Ronaldo completed around half as many passes (116) and less than half as many chances (four) and not a single tackle for his country. 

Ronaldo still managed to shoot three more times than his great rival (21 attempts to Messi's 18) despite sitting out much of Portugal's approach play.  

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