A guide to the quarter-final ties

Spain face Russia in the Round of 16. AFP

Lionel Messi and his national team struggled to qualify for the round of 16 stages at the 2018 World Cup after beating the Super Eagles of Nigeria in their last Group D game.

He has been accused of taking his reaction to being targeted too far, but he is also one of the most fouled players at the tournament and Ronaldo believes match officials are letting too much go.

So often the man to save Portugal, Cristiano Ronaldo couldn't work his magic on Saturday against Uruguay, as they bowed out of the tournament.

No South American side have won on European soil since a Pele-inspired Brazil 60 years ago, but in a World Cup of shocks and surprises, nothing can be taken for granted.

On the cards to make another run at the Ballon d'Or, Ronaldo set numerous records for club and country.

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Sweden's brand of football may not be easy on the eye but on Tuesday they added Switzerland to a list already including the Netherlands, Italy and Germany as they marched into the World Cup quarter-finals. And perhaps they are getting Belgium at the ideal time after their exhausting desperation match with Japan. England are the only former winners of the four teams.

Belgium displayed their fighting spirit and manager Roberto Martinez was able to completely change the game after going down 2-0.

"Closer to the match against Croatia, Cherchesov will tell us how to play". If Spartak Moscow midfielder Zobnin can keep him as quiet as he kept Andres Iniesta when Russian Federation defeated Spain, the hosts might pull off another shock result.

In the other match in England's half of the draw, host nation Russian Federation - riding a wave of euphoria after their shock win against 2010 winners Spain - face a Croatia side inspired by Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric in Sochi on Saturday. Brazil came into the tournament as one of the favourites, with Belgium something of a dark horse contender.

With Cavani's fitness in doubt, Uruguay will be increasingly reliant upon Suarez to take advantage of any gaps in the France defence and snap up every opportunity for a shot at goal.

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