Lionel Messi has so far failed to deliver for Argentina. And now, Atletico Madrid’s manager has lashed upon the Argentine forward.
Argentina has not lived up to the expectations as the tournament favourites so far. After being held to a draw against Iceland, they were emphatically beaten by European underdogs Croatia 3-0. While Lionel Messi missed his penalty against Iceland, he hardly made an impact in Argentina’s second game.
Many people have blamed Argentina’s manager, Jorge Sampaoli’s tactics on the same, and the manager himself has admitted to the same. However, Argentina’s campaign now hangs in between. Nigeria may have beaten Iceland, but Argentina needs to ensure that they find the perfect balance for the side as they meet the African team in a do-or-die match.
Meanwhile, Atletico Madrid’s Argentine manager, Diego Simeone, is quite critical about Argentina’s performance in the World Cup so far. In an apparent leaked audio message to his assistant Mono Burgos, Simeone, via @ecanalla and the Ole newspaper, said:
“What is happening right now is what’s been happening to the national team in the last 4 years unfortunately: Anarchy, no leadership from the FA or the people in charge.
“I see a lost team. They should have started the game like they started against Iceland, a weaker team.
The team are in a bad moment, but it’s Argentina and I hope I’m not wrong, but I think they’re advancing, because Nigeria will beat Iceland and then you will have the the possibility of beating Nigeria, as long as Iceland does not win against Croatia, it now depends on Iceland, not to win either of the two games, it’s possible.
“It’s clear that today in the dressing room they’re beating each other up. Someone has to fight [in there]. Stop breaking my balls.
“The goalkeeper… He had done it already. He did it against Spain, against Italy that the ball went just wide near the post, and I told you it was a pity he didn’t concede so they’d realise that if you screw it in the World Cup, it’s a goal.
“We all always say that footballers are the most important in this game, and we know it’s like that. They’re 60%, not 90%. Because when we coaches screw it up it’s worse than when footballers do, which means coaches play a big role in this.
“[This is also useful] to see that Messi is very good, but he’s very good because he has extraordinary teammates. And the question I ask you: If you had to choose between Messi and Ronaldo for a regular team, who would you choose?”
Diego Simeone’s words have been highly critical of the Argentina side, and he surely didn’t hold it back.