Published: Tue, June 26, 2018
Sports | By Toni Houston

Messi will star for the good of Argentina - Sampaoli

Messi will star for the good of Argentina - Sampaoli

The Argentine federation was even moved to confirm that Sampaoli would continue for the final group game amid rumours of a rift between players and coach.

The report claims that Messi is particularly anxious that if Argentina failed to qualify for the second round, his dream of winning the World Cup would be dashed forever.The skipper who has been given one last chance to try and salvage his fledgling campaign by Nigeria's defeat of Iceland, says they must now beat the Eagles in their final group game to have any chance of progressing.

The cat was presented with a choice of two bowls of food with Argentinian and Nigerian flags placed next to them, and Achilles preferred the latter one.

Argentina will face Nigeria in St. Petersburg on Tuesday in a game vital to their chances of moving on.

According to both Simon Mullock of the Mirror and the always well-informed Jose Alvarez, a friend of Sergio's, Sampaoli has made a decision to punish the Manchester City icon by benching him against Nigeria on Tuesday.

Argentina has had a disappointing run at the FIFA World Cup 2018 thus far, losing one to Croatia and settling for a tame draw against Iceland.

During said talks, the players reportedly told Sampaoli that they had lost faith in his tactics.

Mascherano said he had played under eight national team coaches in his Argentina career and none of them had complained afterwards that the players had picked the team.

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Lionel Messi is "unhappy" at the World Cup, with the pressure of Argentina's hopes at the tournament weighing on his shoulders, according to his former team-mate Pablo Zabaleta.

The South Americans powerhouse, who arrived in Russian Federation as one the favourites, need a win over Nigeria to reach the second round.

Maradona added on the World Cup they took part in together (he was coach in 2010): "Messi was exceptional under me at that tournament".

But if they manage to win the game against Croatia, which is highly unlikely, then it will be another uphill struggle for La Albiceleste.

"You have to give him credit, of course, but his goals have come from set-pieces, penalties or mistakes".

"The way the match was structured against Croatia didn't suit Messi".

"If he had the ball less than usual it's because Argentina didn't dominate the match as we did against Iceland".

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