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Kaka On Lionel Messi's Struggles With Argentina

26 June, 2018, 16:58 | Author: Hannah Francis
  • Argentina players celebrate Messi's 31st birthday

Sampaoli would not confirm whether he planned to sub goalkeeper Willy Caballero for Franco Armani, who has not played a single minute for Argentina but was in attendance at the news conference.

Zabaleta played alongside Messi in the 2014 World Cup, which saw Argentina beaten by Germany in the final.

For Argentina's opponents Nigeria, a win is enough to get them into the knockout stage, while a draw gets the job done, provided Iceland does not beat the group leaders by at least two goals.

That means their World Cup hopes are hanging by a thread as they face Nigeria in their final game, hoping results also go their way in the Croatia-Iceland match. Either Sampaoli must make some tough decisions and give the players the dressing down they deserve or Argentina will be well on their long ride home.

Argentina´s forward Lionel Messi (C) practices during a training session at the team´s base camp in Bronnitsy, on June 23, 2018, during Russian Federation 2018 World Cup.

"He is one of the big names in Russian Federation who has made a strong start to this World Cup, in terms of goals, with four so far".




Argentina's qualifying hopes are subsequently on a knife edge, with Jorge Sampaoli's men facing a do-or-die clash with Nigeria on Tuesday.

A month on from Messi's rescue mission in Ecuador, he sat out a friendly as Nigeria beat Argentina 4-2 back in November to highlight how reliant even a squad containing Sergio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala remain on their number 10. "Everybody wants to win and we can not make any gifts even if we like very much this player".

Argentina players had held meetings at their base camp hours after a disastrous 3-0 loss to Croatia and asked for Sampaoli's immediate removal as manager, according to reports on Thursday night.

"I think the match was complicated for Messi", Sampaoli said.

He has a contract until 2022 and with the Argentina FA in severe financial difficulties, would usually expect to lose his job if they are eliminated.

Though Ronaldo's victor against Morocco took him to 85 goals and made him the highest-scoring European in the history of worldwide football, it would seem Fabregas has not been entirely convinced by the forward's recent contribution to matches.

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