Marcos Rojo Reveals What Lionel Messi Said In Inspirational Team Talk

Marcos Rojo Reveals What Lionel Messi Said In Inspirational Team Talk

Marcos Rojo Reveals What Lionel Messi Said In Inspirational Team Talk

But Messi will keep his place in the team and manager Jorge Sampaoli says the five-time Ballon d'Or victor will deliver a better performance.

Argentina squeezed into the last 16 of the World Cup with a 2-1 win over Nigeria on Tuesday night - and pundit Rio Ferdinand has told BBC's coverage of the game that he was impressed with midfielder Ever Banega. Shortly afterwards, the Manchester City striker was introduced for the final ten minutes in Saint Petersburg, replacing defender Nicolás Tagliafico.

Sampaoli says he was informing rather than consulting Messi in an exchange during the team's last World Cup match that some have interpreted as him ceding authority to the Barcelona man.

With the victory, Argentina finished second in Group D to secure a place in the round of 16, where they will play France in Kazan on June 30.

The former Chile and Sevilla coach survived, but still there are suggestions he will not be allowed to retain his post after the World Cup.

To reach the knockout stages, Argentina must beat Nigeria and hope Iceland don't beat Croatia.

"Today they were able to win against a very tough opponent. I am very happy to be here and fight every day".

It was his pinpoint ball over the top from midfield to pick out Messi that led to Argentina's opener in the 14th minute and he bailed out the hapless 34-year-old Mascherano, who looks well past his prime, on more than one occasion.

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If true, it doesn't say much for Sampaoli's confidence in his own abilities at this moment in time.

Clearly, there was plenty of relief at the result - both from Argentina's players and supporters.

Modric has been one of the tournament's most outstanding players and was sublime in Croatia's 3-0 win over Argentina.

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"After the match that gave them the qualification to the last 16, you see many players crying after it".

"This is going to be a hard match, we are going to have to step up our level", Lloris said. The 27-year-old Chelsea star has also contributed to three goals already in Russian Federation, and will be looking to add to that tally when the Red Devils go up against Japan in the round of 16.

"How are we supposed to know what to do with football if we don't even know what to do with Lionel Messi".

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