Sampaoli Gets Messi’s Support
There have been rumors that Argentina’s gamers have misplaced religion in Sampaoli, that they now dismiss his opinions and choose the staff themselves. But after the Nigeria win, Messi made a degree of in search of out Sampaoli for a hug. “Leo’s gesture with me makes me proud,” he stated. “He knows all the passion I put into everything I do.”
Argentina vs. France Top Story Lines
• France and Argentina shall be completely satisfied to see the again of the group stage, however for various causes. France was inferior to marketed however nonetheless received its group. Argentina was plainly horrible at instances — disorganized, disappointing, dismal even — however a purpose from Marcos Rojo within the dying minutes towards Argentina despatched them by way of.
• France’s two early wins allowed it to relaxation stars like Paul Pogba and Kylian Mbappé towards Denmark, they usually’ll be hoping that reveals up as crispness right this moment, not sleepiness or misplaced momentum.
• Argentina’s first two video games had been an unmitigated dumpster hearth, however they discovered a technique to beat Nigeria, 2-1, on a stunning Lionel Messi purpose and a late winner from Marcos Rojo. If Messi has certainly determined to play a significant position right here, to carry his staff by the scruff of its neck and carry it, that could possibly be a game-changer for Argentina.
“We are going to play against a team with great individual players,” Argentina Manager Jorge Sampaoli stated. “They are among the very best contenders and we will need to be very consistent to come out on top of a very difficult match.”
• Argentina was a World Cup finalist 4 years in the past. If they don’t straighten out their issues, they may observe the staff that beat them — Germany — out the door. The Germans didn’t survive the group stage.
• France enters off a scoreless tie towards Denmark, the one such match of the World Cup, and a game so dreadful that the coaches had been requested to clarify themselves afterward. “One point for the draw was good enough for them, and we didn’t have to take risks to do better because this result was good for everyone,” France Manager Didier Deschamps stated.
Some Pregame Reading
• Rory Smith of The Times did a terrific piece on the place France finds its gamers lately: many minimize their tooth within the huge concrete sprawl of cities and satellite tv for pc cities outdoors Paris, a expertise pool the dimensions of Belgium.
• Is Lionel Messi responsible for what ails Argentina? Not so fast.
• Is right this moment the purpose within the World Cup when the surprises cease? The carnival spirit and upsets of the group stage hardly ever proceed within the knockout rounds, Rory Smith writes, however worldwide soccer is extra democratic than ever.