World Cup quarter-finals: Four talking points

Sports Mole picks out the main talking points from each of the four World Cup quarter-finals.

Thirty-two teams arrived, now just eight remain as the 2014 World Cup in Brazil has reached the quarter-final stage.

Here, Sports Mole has picked out the biggest talking point from each of the four upcoming encounters, with a place in the semi-finals at stake for the victors.


French aim for Battiston revenge

French players pose for a group picture before the round of 16 football match between France and Nigeria at the Mane Garrincha National Stadium in Brasilia during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 30, 2014© Getty Images

In the semi-finals of the 1982 World Cup, French full-back Patrick Battiston raced onto Michel Platini's delicate through-pass. However, before Battiston could get the ball fully under his spell, he was wiped out by the hip of advancing West German goalkeeper Harald Schumacher. The French international was knocked unconscious, lost three teeth and damaged his ribs, yet not even a foul was awarded. The match ended 3-3 and in the shootout that followed, Schumacher, who should have been sent off for his assault on Battiston, saved two French penalties, which sent his nation into the final.
Germany vs. France, July 4 (5pm)


Colombia's best chance to end Brazil hoodoo

James Rodriguez of Colombia celebrates scoring his team's second goal and his second of the game with teammates Jackson Martinez and Teofilo Gutierrez during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June© Getty Images

The Colombians have fast become everybody's second team at this World Cup. With James Rodriguez leading the line and scoring the goal of the tournament in the process, Jose Pekerman's men seem capable of going all the way. Yet, they have a truly rotten record against hosts Brazil. The South American rivals have met on 25 occasions, with Colombia coming out on top just twice - the most recent of which came back in 1991. As Brazil struggle to live up to the pressure and expectation from a fanatical home support, Colombia will not have a better chance to cease the negative run.
Brazil vs. Colombia, July 4 (9pm)


Messi aims to replicate Maradona's Belgium haunting

Argentina's forward and captain Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Group F football match between Argentina and Bosnia Hercegovina at the Maracana Stadium in Rio De Janeiro during the 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 15, 20© Getty Images

When people think of the 1986 World Cup, many will recall the good and bad of Diego Maradona in Argentina's 2-1 quarter-final triumph over England. Yet, having disposed of the Three Lions, Maradona inflicted the same punishment on Belgium in the final four by scoring another two goals. To the present day, and for Lionel Messi to stand on the same pedestal as Maradona in the eyes of his nation he must lead his country to World Cup glory. Throughout the tournament he's carried Argentina and next up is Belgium, who were destroyed by Maradona 28 years ago.
Argentina vs. Belgium, July 5 (5pm)


Costa Rica gunning for CONCACAF history

Costa Rica players celebrate after Bryan Ruiz scored their team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil Group D match against Italy on June, 20, 2014© Getty Images

Back in 1930, the USA reached the semi-finals of the World Cup, where they were thrashed 6-1 by Argentina. That feat still remains the only time that a CONCACAF nation has reached that stage of the competition. However, that was in a 13-team tournament, whereas today's Costa Rica unit have competed alongside more than double that number. They've already made a piece of their own history by going further than ever before and will extend that even more with a victory over the Dutch.
Netherlands vs. Costa Rica, July 5 (9pm)


James Rodriguez of Colombia celebrates scoring his team's first goal during the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil round of 16 match between Colombia and Uruguay at Maracana on June 28, 2014
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