The Argentine coach Jorge Sampaoli has his star player Lionel Messi in the run-up to the second team contest against Croatia, Thursday in Nizhny Novgorod (20: 00 Belgian time), emphatically protected. The Argentine people would be too much pressure on Messi.
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Messi missed in the first team contest against Iceland, a penalty kick, giving Argentina any further than a 1-1 draw. After the game got the captain a lot of criticism about him in his homeland. According to Sampaoli is that criticism is undeserved. “Messi wears the full responsibility of the team,” said Sampaoli Wednesday during a press conference. “If he scores, cheers everyone. But if Argentina does not win, he gets right to the debt situations. That is wrong. That makes for a lot of unnecessary pressure on him.”
Sampaoli stressed again that the Argentine national team is more than Messi alone. The coach hopes that his team against Croatia, a collective performance will deliver. “That duel is a big challenge,” realized Sampaoli. “We should also not wait until the last game to turn the tide. That should be Thursday already happening.”
Or Sampaoli are basiself by shaking, is not yet known. “I can make the arrangement not yet, that I must first be still with the players to discuss. I do know that we have a fixed play style need. Argentina lacks currently have an identity of its own,” decided Sampaoli.
Croatia looks to adopt with Argentina as the “easiest team contest”
In Croatia fear coach Zlatko Dalic, the confrontation with Lionel Messi and co. He considers it to be the easiest team contest. “We have nothing to lose. The pressure is less now, because we already have three points,” said Dalic, who led his troops saw earlier win against Nigeria. “We will technically minor changes to do, but nothing substantial.”
In playing for a draw, like Iceland did against Argentina, believes Dalic. “Only when we’re winning games, we can get results.”
Also Ivan Rakitic, team mate of lionel Messi at Barcelona, but Thursday an opponent, see Argentina in spite of the earlier 1-1 draw against Iceland as a favorite. “We assume that Argentina’s aggressive play. And about Messi I can not tell you very much that you do not yet know,” he said to the attending press. “We have to work hard from the first minute to the last, and the trouble them try to make. Only with a perfect match, we can offer them the right one.”