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Mascherano: Messi is desperate to help Argentina

26 Juin 2018

Barcelona star Lionel Messi has made it clear he does not want to retire from global duty until he lifts the World Cup trophy with his national side, Argentina.

During the 1994 World Cup in USA, Milla became the oldest player to score when he hit the bulls' eye against Russian Federation, setting a record as the oldest goalscorer in a World Cup tournament.

While Messi escaped his ire, the captain's mother also revealed in an interview with Argentinian television that her son "suffered and cried" after the Croatia defeat.

The equation for Argentina is simple, win today and they are virtually in the knockout stages. Now, heading into a Group D showdown with Nigeria, will he be the man once again and secure his country a spot in the tournament's last 16 on Tuesday?

The Albiceleste must beat Nigeria and then rely on Iceland failing to beat already-qualified Croatia. Nigeria beat Iceland 2-0 on Friday, blowing the group wide open and allowing Messi and Co. another shot at staying in the competition, with a do-or-die clash with the Super Eagles looming.

Soccer's world governing body Federation Internationale de Football Association said earlier on Friday it was trying to identify the fans, who were filmed fighting at Thursday's World Cup match between Argentina and Croatia in Nizhny Novgorod.

That's exactly what those at Moscow's Altufyevo Confectionery thought when it realised Lionel Messi would be spending his 31st birthday in the city on Sunday.

"He did not get a lot of the ball from midfield and that was a mistake".

We are not saying Argentina is in this situation because of Lionel Messi. Messi led his country to three global major titles - twice in Copa America (2015 and 2016) and in 2014 FIFA World Cup - but ended as runners-up in all the three finals. Yes, he's capable of beating them all but that's where the problem lies. Nigeria (four points) can top the group if they beat Argentina and Croatia lose to Ireland, as well as if Nigeria's goal difference improves ahead of Croatia.

Every struggling team needs a scapegoat, and Argentina has found one in manager Jorge Sampaoli.

"The players will decide the team, that's a fact".

"Tomorrow we must play a match with our hearts and our heads". However, Sampaoli said the world would see the real Argentina on Tuesday. The results speak for themselves.

The oddsmakers like Argentina, but we don't. The backline is nearly embarrassing to watch and looked really under-confident against Croatia.

He has an incredible wealth of attacking talent at his disposal but Sampaoli has no idea how to make them tick.

Argentina are fourth in Group D, two points adrift of second, and need a win against Nigeria to stand any chance of progressing. It is going to be fire-for -fire, " Musa said. Will Argentina finally step up or is Nigeria going to do the unthinkable? "I do not consume fake news and lies and untruths", Sampaoli said. But this is something even an Argentina fan would agree, there is a little bit of anxiety. We will not be responding to things that others do'.

Mascherano: Messi is desperate to help Argentina