Argentina star is desperate and frustrated says Mascherano

Argentina’s Lionel Messi

Speaking about Lionel Messi, who has come under severe scrutiny during this World Cup for supposedly not stepping up when needed, Mascherano defended his former Barcelona teammate.

Simeone also appeared to call into question the true quality of Argentina's usual talisman Lionel Messi, who has had a minimal impact at the showpiece tournament in Russian Federation and missed a penalty against Iceland in the Group D opener, while his rival Cristiano Ronaldo has scored four times for Portugal.

"The Argentinian national team is world-renowned, so, naturally, we could not forget about such an important event as the birthday of its captain", said Sports Minister of the Moscow Region Roman Teryushkov.

But can birthday boy Messi deliver for his country once again?

Argentina almost missed the World Cup altogether, needing a Messi hat-trick in the final qualifying match just to punch a ticket to Russian Federation.

"I do wonder why someone who has scored so many goals for Inter, who isn't in the older generation, isn't at the World Cup".

The players wanted 1986 World Cup winning midfielder Jorge Barruchaga, now the general manager of the national side, to replace Sampaoli.


Messi salvaged a disastrous campaign under three different managers with a hat-trick away to Ecuador in the Albiceleste's final qualifier.

Agentina is immensely better with him than without him.

Earlier, TUKO.co.kehad reported how Croatia qualified for the round of 16 at the ongoing 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russian Federation after demolishing Argentina 3-0 in their second Group D game.

Argentina will face Nigeria in St. Petersburg on Tuesday in a game vital to their chances of moving on.

"He's human and he has his own frustrations but he's desperate to turn the situation around".

"Whether we like it or not, we are the World Cup runners-up and at some point we have to prove it", he said. "But sometimes you have to cling to something".

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