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Mascherano: No rift between Argentina players and coach Sampaoli

26 June, 2018, 10:15 | Author: Sylvester Abbott
  • Messi is not a leader he is no Ronaldo claims Petit

But at a press conference on Sunday Mascherano said the players had raised their concerns at a meeting with Sampaoli.

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

In their hour of need, Argentina need Messi's best once more.

"But we have worked on that and, for the good of Argentina, I am sure Lionel Messi will have the ball much more against Nigeria than in the previous match", he added.

The two-time world champions, by virtue of the loss, are on the brink of early elimination from the tournament after picking only one point from two games.

To reach the last 16 on their World Cup debut, Iceland must beat the Croatians and hope Nigeria fail to beat Argentina.

"It's been a tough week for us. The next day, as a coach, all I thought about was winning", Sampaoli said.

The Argentina federation were even moved on Saturday to confirm that Sampaoli would continue for the final group game among rumours of a rift between players and coach.

Dalic is expected to leave out six players on yellow cards who risk suspension including Mario Mandzukic and Ivan Rakitic, while 32-year-old captain Luka Modric and Liverpool defender Dejan Lovren could also be in line for a rest.

"I'm not going to stop believing in them". "There will be a new page in the history of the national squad".

But instead of revealing the XI for the must-win clash in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday, Sampaoli's notebook shows detailed plans from their training camp.The scribbles on the notebook show two seven-a-side teams lining up against each other in a knockabout in training, with two players, including Lionel Messi, seemingly on substitute rotation.

Messi also received love from his club, FC Barcelona, as well as Argentine football legend Gabriel Batistuta, an assortment of football personalities and even the Russian city of Bronnitsy, where the team is now training.

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