Rodrigo Bentancur collected the ball around 30 yards out and slipped the flawless pass out to Cavani on the left side of the penalty area, allowing Paris Saint-Germain's record scorer to curl a gorgeous first-time strike across Wolves' new signing Patricio.
The Portugal manager, Fernando Santos, said he did not want Cristiano Ronaldo to walk away from global football after Portugal were knocked out of the World Cup by a 2-1 defeat at the hands of Uruguay.
While Messi provided two assists in his side's valiant, albeit unsuccessful attempt to topple France, Ronaldo was responsible for a truly terrible display this weekend.
Ronaldo reached the semifinals with Portugal in his first World Cup in Germany, but has never made it past the last 16 since then.
Suarez and Cavani combined brilliantly for the seventh-minute opener on Russia's Black Sea coast.More news: Wimbledon make exception and give Serena a seeding
Portugal coach Fernando Santos threw up his hands in disgust, realising that coming from behind a second time against this Uruguay defence was going to be a tall order. Mulsera makes a howler, dropping the ball.it falls to Bernardo Silva who panics and blazes his shot over the bar with the goal gaping.
Ending the group stages with a 3-0 win that guaranteed them top spot in Group A, Uruguay's prize was a round-of-16 clash with the reigning European champions, Portugal.
After Uruguay's opening World Cup win over Egypt, Luis Suarez was slammed for a sluggish performance, looking off the pace and as if he was "towing a caravan" around the pitch in Yekaterinburg.
Portugal will be disappointed with their performance against Uruguay after boasting nearly 70 per cent of possession and firing off 20 shots.
And he managed to score a-not-too-shabby four games in the tournament.
A third added: "Ronaldo and his team mates need to learn some maners". Crucially, though, Cavani and Uruguay had the ideal response.
Pepe gave Portugal some hope when he found the equaliser in the 55th minute.