Argentina's Jorge Sampaoli pleads with fans to lay off Lionel Messi

PENALTIES.jpg

PENALTIES.jpg

"It is clear that Messi's legacy and standing within the game would be enhanced with victory in Russian Federation this summer, but he does not need to win the World Cup to be viewed as Maradona's equal", argued London-based sports writer Greg Lea in an article for The Sportsman.

Messi's status as one of the greatest players to have played the game has long since been assured, yet the critics argue that he needs worldwide glory to cement his position. "If he wins he's a great player, but he is still a great player if he doesn't". Argentina reached the quarter-finals in 2006 and 2010 and were beaten by Germany in the final in 2014, when Messi won the Golden Ball as the tournament's best player.

"We don't help him so much and by that I mean coaches, presidents of federations etc", he said.

"Football, the World Cup, would not be the same without Messi".

"But this is football, and we have to thank him because his goals helped us to be here, living this dream".

Brazilian great Pele won the World Cup, as did Argentine icon Diego Maradona, while Ronaldo broke his duck on the global stage as Portugal landed the Euro 2016 crown two years ago.

Ronaldo earns Portugal 1-0 win as Morocco's hopes end
The Atlas Lions , who lost 0-1 to Iran in their first game , lie bottom of the group without a point. Cristiano Ronaldo is on a mission this World Cup . "We have to give our everything".

"He's one of the best in history".

Former Chile and Sevilla boss Sampaoli, 58, was appointed manager in June 2017 after the departure of Edgardo Bauza. "You need to choose the players that can feel each other very well".

Argentina's forward Lionel Messi runs with the ball during the Russian Federation 2018 World Cup Group D football match between Argentina and Iceland at the Spartak Stadium in Moscow on June 16, 2018. Yes, we have lost three finals in recent years, but we reached three finals and that was a good achievement. "I told him to do what he knows, to play just as if he was playing when he started out with Grandoli".

In the team's first training session since a disappointing 1-1 draw against Iceland, Sampaoli tried a different tactical approach on Monday, with an eye toward the clash against Croatia on Thursday.

"It's impossible in the hearts of Argentinean people". "Messi doesn't get the same support from his team mates as Maradona".

Via ESPN, Messi's mother Celia Cuccittini gave a revealing interview about her son to the El Trece TV show "Diario de Mariana". "Because then what's the point of you being there?"

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