Argentina, Messi on brink of World Cup exit after Croatia drubbing

22 June, 2018, 02:21 | Author: Anita Tucker
  • Argentina 2

Lionel Messi is under pressure to deliver when Argentina face Croatia on Thursday after his eternal rival Cristiano Ronaldo streaked clear at the top of the World Cup goalscoring charts. Argentina has underachieved for years during which the Albiceleste has become entirely too over-reliant on the mercurial playmaker.

Argentina put in possibly one of their worst performances ever at a World Cup but by the looks of things Lionel Messi knew it was coming even before kick off.

Fortunately for Argentina, the squad will still have a chance to sneak into the knockout round, barring a massive rout in Friday's Iceland-Nigeria game - but Messi's team will have to play much better in its group stage finale than it has so far in Russian Federation. Messi's hat-trick in the final qualification match against Ecuador ensured his team reached Russian Federation, and his seven goals made him the team's top scorer by a distance - no other Argentina player managed more than two goals in the campaign.

Second-half goals from Ante Rebic, Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic sealed a deserved victory as a poor Argentina were left on the brink of a humiliating first round exit.

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"When you score with the Argentina jersey, we all take credit for it", Sampaoli said.

"He (Messi) is a player who can solve a game or hit a hat-trick". Without him, they wouldn't have got anywhere near the World Cup.

Do you expect Messi and Argentina to bounce back from their draw and defeat Croatia on Thursday?

Argentina have a wealth of attacking talent but they are over reliant on Messi.

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She came into this match after a relatively comfortable opening few games in the tournament, in which she did not lose a single set.

"The defeat is my responsibility because I am the coach", he said.

The defeat to France mean the Socceroos need a win against Christian Eriksen's Denmark in Samara.

Messi has evolved as a player in a positional sense as the years have passed by at Barcelona, but this has not happened in the national team.

" It is not easy to play against them, but our players have to enjoy the match". But everything positive Argentina did still came from Messi, and it was the same against Croatia, albeit he wasn't as centrally involved.

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Away from the football, Burger King has apologised for an online ad offering burgers to Russian women who get impregnated by football players during the World Cup.

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