Federation Internationale de Football Association backs Maradona but urges World Cup star to be respectful

Jun 30, 2018, 08:31
Federation Internationale de Football Association backs Maradona but urges World Cup star to be respectful

Argentina coach Jorge SAMPAOLI as well as Ever BANEGA held a press conference on Friday ahead of the Round of 16 match. Indeed, Argentinian journalist Fernando Niembro has even accused the captain of taking over squad selection duties from Sampaoli.

With Argentina struggling at the World Cup, getting one point from its first two games, the team, and Messi, had to step up on Tuesday in a must-win match against Nigeria. The extremely humble nature of the Argentina skipper made him wear the token of luck and it was nothing but an incredible act of humanity and kindness.

The pick of the left-backs was 30-year-old Croatia defender Ivan Strinic, who helped his team keep two clean sheets in the two group matches he played, including one against Messi's Argentina.

Messi scored his first goal in Russian Federation - his 65th for Argentina - in emphatic style against Nigeria, collecting a long pass on his thigh before smashing it into the back of the net in a trademark finish. But he also inspired his team off the pitch and showed a level of leadership unseen in previous matches, dragging his side through after a shocking group stage display.

Lionel Messi is obviously a big deal in Argentina, but so too are superstitions, especially when it comes to soccer. "I'm very proud of the boys, they've done really well".

"If we can't control the ball, it could become a physical match, and that won't suit us at all".

Withthe World Cup's group stage ending yesterday, football fans are now looking forward to the knockout stages beginning Saturday.

"A coach who has to train Leo knows that everybody surrounding him needs to make him feel secure", Sampaoli said.

"As I have said before, my players play with heart, they are true rebels". Otherwise, we'll suffer because we have the best player in the world and the other players need to benefit from that. "After that, they get a lot of goals within three or four touches". "I am very happy to be here and fight every day".

"We have complete faith in our abilities", said Sampaoli.

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