Sampaoli claims Argentina star damaged by pressure

27 March, 2018, 17:47 | Author: Julian Swanson
  • Image PA

Lionel Messi is an "untouchable" figure and his mind is "much more developed" than the rest of the Argentina unit, feels coach Jorge Sampaoli.

The Barcelona talisman, who missed last Friday's 2-0 win over Itally, is set to face Spain at the Wanda Metropolitano Stadium tomorrow morning (Singapore time) after hamstring and thigh issues kept him out earlier.

La Joya was left out of the squad for the games with Italy and Spain, as was Inter captain Mauro Icardi.

There is so much pressure on Argentina superstar Lionel Messi at the World Cup that it is nearly like putting a revolver to his head.

"But here, he did a fitness test yesterday (Sunday), he did another one today and he's fine".

"We are in a place where Leo is untouchable", added Sampaoli, before suggesting his team would be built around the advice he picked up from Messi.

"It is impossible to teach him anything".

And despite training with Argentina he is going to be given time off to recover with the World Cup coming up this summer.

Spain boss Julen Lopetegui, unbeaten in the position since replacing Vicente del Bosque after Euro 2016, says whether Messi features or not will have little bearing on his team selection.

"I was left with the choice to play against Italy and didn't, but I trained normally, I felt good, so I hope to play". On the right we can cut inside and we have the whole pitch in front of us.

'At Juventus he plays just like me, we look for the same spaces.

"To see what will make us work like a team", admitting that while Argentina still had work to do to decide their strongest side, "Spain have their side already consolidated. if they are not the best side in the world, they are among the best".

Argentina's Lionel Messi and Argentina's Paulo Dybala during an worldwide friendly football match between Russian Federation and Argentina at the Luzhniki stadium in Moscow on November 11, 2017.

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