Despite being on cloud nine after Jorge Sampaoli's side qualified for the last 16 of the competition, Messi still had time to complete another round of media duties before heading back to the team's hotel. "Although you also have to rely on experienced players, but even they need the coach to tell them something, to lead the way".
Ronaldo tore out of the blocks in Russian Federation, smashing a hat-trick in his first game against Spain.
Most of the controversy in the opening two weeks has been related, entirely predictably, to the video assistant referee (VAR) system or more specifically to referees who, despite the chance to see replays in a major tournament for the first time, have still managed to make some mistakes.
Debate was still raging over Japan's approach to their final group game against Poland after the Asian side sneaked into the last 16 on the back of their superior disciplinary record.
The South American team paired with Group B runners-up Portugal in the last 16 phase.
Whether he can break through against Uruguay will determine Ronaldo's World Cup legacy. "If Ronaldo plays alone we will lose", Portugal coach Fernando Santos said. And task at their hands is not so small, both of them have qualified at second places from their groups at the group stages after a lot of drama in their final matches and have to face teams who have topped their groups.
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The standout performance, of course, was the 3-0 thumping of Argentina and Modric's sumptuous goal - no Croat has scored as many goals from outside box as the midfielder - was one to remember.
Host nation Russian Federation made a statement in the tournament's first match, trouncing Saudi Arabia.
In other matches on Monday, Spain will take on Russian Federation at 2am while Denmark will play Croatia at 6am.
Chelsea legend Flo, a guest on Yahoo Sport's fantastic daily World Cup show, expects Argentina and Portugal to triumph as the action heats up.
Man-of-the-match Mbappe brushed off the Pele comparisons.
Talk of another World Cup seems unlikely for Messi, who has previously retired from the national team before donning the blue and white stripes once again.