Argentina Are Out Of The World Cup After Defeat By France
As Alex Ferguson once said: "Football, bloody hell".
We've just witnessed easily the game of the tournament so far at this year's World Cup in Russia. But, as is always the case with knockout football, there has to be a loser.
Argentina more than played their part and looked like they'd done just enough, but when all was said and done they were blown away by France's youthful, attacking force.
It's a sad sight to see Lionel Messi leave the stage at what might be his last World Cup finals ever, but his team just couldn't match the French side across the park and it would have been unfair for them to progress at the expense of Les Bleus.
If you've no foot in either camp, it was simply a joy to watch. Angel Di Maria scored a wonder strike that flew straight past Hugo Lloris' despairing dive.
Some people (ahem) were calling that the goal of the tournament once that went in, but they were made to have a significant re-evaluation once Benjamin Pavard stroked the ball on the half volley into the top corner of Argentina's goal.
Back at 2-2, it was game on.
Enter Kylian Mbappe. The 19-year-old Paris St Germain sensation had been the game's best player, and proved it by finding space in the opposition box and crashing a low shot past Franco Armani to give his side the lead.
Whilst the goalkeeper definitely could have done better, it was low and fast and was past him before he could react properly.
He had plenty of time to size up Mbappe's second, just four minutes later. An incisive and flowing French move was capped off by a slotted finish from the teenage striker after being played through by Olivier Giroud.
Argentina made things interesting by scoring a late header through Sergio Aguero, but the writing was on the wall before that. There was simply not enough time for them and it finished 4-3.
For Leo Messi, it's likely that this will be his last World Cup - he'll be into his mid-30s by the time the next one rolls around, so even if he's there he'll probably be past his best.
Sad though it is, Georgie Best never played at a World Cup finals, and he's still one of the greats. Also, it would have been a travesty for a substandard Argentina side to get past a French team with the kind of promise and excitement that this one brings.
Nobody will want to face them after they finally turned up to the tournament today.
The good news is, it's not all over yet, although today's second fixture - Uruguay vs Portugal - has a lot to live up to if it's going to match this game.
Expect a significantly different contest to this one. Pepe vs Luis Suarez promises to be the perfect storm of shithousery. Bring it on.
Over to you, Cristiano.
Featured Image Credit: PA