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World Cup hangout: Belgium crash out, Neymar hysteria, Rihanna's provocative tweets and more

Don’t worry though, Messi was on hand to restore our faith in attractive football against Belgium today.

Image : Natacha Pisarenko
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Life’s just not fair! Neymar and James Rodriguez are out of the World Cup, while Fred gets rewarded for continuing to look like a poor man’s Gary Doherty. Don’t worry though, Messi is still here, and he’s set to unleash his wrath on Belgium.

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As I type, the Belgian anthem is in full flow.

You can follow their game against Argentina right here.

As usual, we’ve done some corrections in the office.

Me: 2-1 Argentina

Eoin: 2-1 Belgium

Pat: 2-1 Argentina

Sean: 2-1 Belgium (after extra-time).

Niall: Argentia to win on penalties.

Wow, someone other than Messi, aka Higuain, has given Argentina an early lead against Belgium.

It’s a “glorious snapshot” as someone in the office has just referred to it as.
http://vine.co/v/MUQjmxWJAUA

“Elephant-controlled” is our new favourite descriptive word.

Messi has just played a fairly glorious pass to Di Maria.
http://vine.co/v/MUQxQF2r7J1

Don’t forget that there’s the small matter of Costa Rica versus the Netherlands later on.

Louis van Gaal has given his (always entertaining) thoughts ahead of the game.

“Our goal has always become world champions. We are a team that is very difficult to beat. We are not a fantastic team but we are a team that is very difficult to beat.

“We should not underestimate Costa Rica. It is going to be a very tough match. They got through with a lot of passion and belief and faith. We should not take them too lightly.”

Read the full article here.

The Manchester United midfielder is having ‘one of those days’ against the Argentinian superstar.

Here’s my cobbled together power rankings based on who’s left in the World Cup…

1. The Netherlands

2. Argentina

3. Germany

4. Brazil

5. Belgium

6. Costa Rica

Do you agree?

This Neymar hysteria has surely gotten out of hand now. I’m also reliably informed that Brazilian TV went straight from the half-time whistle in today’s game to footage of the star being lifted on to a helicopter.

Shades of Wayne Rooney for England a few years ago…

Source: bombomchicken/YouTube

Another blow for James Rodriguez in what has been a difficult 24 hours, as Brazilian legend Ronaldo has said that Tim Cahill’s wonder strike against the Netherlands is the greatest goal of the 2014 World Cup so far.

“It was the best goal of the World Cup and it’s going to go down in history as one of the most beautiful World Cup goals,” Ronaldo said at a FIFA press conference.

What do you think?

FIFA are apparently considering taking action against Juan Zuniga for the challenge that ended Neymar’s World Cup (see 17.38 for video).

Here’s a few lines from AFP…

FIFA could take action against Colombia’s Juan Zuniga for the challenge in the World Cup quarter final that left Brazilian superstar Neymar with a fractured vertebrae, a spokeswoman said Saturday.

The 28-year-old defender also faced death threats on social media for the incident when his knee clattered into the striker’s lower back at the end of Brazil’s 2-1 defeat of Colombia on Friday.

Neymar will miss the rest of the tournament and the whole of Brazil seems to have been traumatized, with even football legend Pele declaring “it hurts our hearts”.

“The FIFA Disciplinary Committee is analysing all the elements provided, the videos and the match reports, and will decide whether or not to take action,” FIFA spokeswoman Delia Fischer told a briefing.

Zuniga, who plays for Napoli in Italy, has denied he intentionally sought to injure the 22-year-old Brazilian.

Definitely one of the most interesting manager reactions we’ve seen so far…
http://vine.co/v/MU2Agt5Zv9Y

Meanwhile, Tim Howard is not altogether comfortable with his newfound all-American hero status.
http://vine.co/v/MUTzd0ZAEaw

RTÉ co-commentator Brian Kerr is currently trending in Ireland, largely because of comments such as this…

I’m afraid it looks like being another disappointing quarter-final match.

It’s all over! Argentina win 1-0.

Both Messi and Lukaku had good chances in the dying moments, but on balance, the Argentines probably deserved it.

It’s also the first time Argentina have won five games at a World Cup and the first time they’ve reached a semi-final since 1990.

Right, that’s it from me. Thanks for reading and commenting.

The Netherlands are going to win the World Cup, you heard it here first!

And speaking of the Dutch, don’t forget to tune in to our liveblog of their game with Costa Rica later today…

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