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Argentina Coach Sampaoli: Nigeria Will Be Tough But We Have Messi

Argentina Coach Sampaoli: Nigeria Will Be Tough But We Have Messi

By Kayode Ogundare in Moscow:
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has admitted that Nigeria pose a big threats to his team’s aspiration of going past the group stage at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia and is banking on Barcelona forward Lionel Messi to help beat the West Africans, Completesportsnigeria.com reports.

The Albiceleste will come up against the Super Eagles in their last group game of the competition on June 26 at the Krestovsky Stadium.


It will be the fifth meeting between both countries in the group stages of the competition with the South Americans winning all previous four occasions.

Messi missed the recent friendly meeting both teams which Nigeria won 4-2.

Zenith Ziva

Croatia and debutantes Iceland are the other teams in the group.

“Nigeria is an unpredictable team, with very fast players,” Sampaoli said during his interaction with the media here in Moscow after the draw on Friday.

“We dealt with them very well in the first half in the friendly against them, but we could not cope with them in the second half.

“Now, we will have another chance against them. I know i have the best player in history, which is Lionel Messi which will help us against them.”

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  • We know that Lionel messi is a world class player but a tree cannot make a forest. On that day messi must not politically look the face of central ref for penalty favour, Nigeria will beat Argentina.

  • Argentina might be tough….. Our Moses would be back””””

  • Tony Iloka 4 years ago

    This is our time against rampant Messi and his fellow country men.

  • If you can get rid of Akpeyi the basket goal keeper…. Ezenwa the fearful and panicky goal keeper; u know Messi will take advantage of his fear and hang him with a lot of curving balls and freekicks and also get ride of Echiejile the injured, then you will have a ballance team that can face Argentina and the Europeans.

  • Messi is of course exeptional but he will not score against Nigeria on that day.

  • The rematch this time around will be tough! Especially with Messi, there game will be different but we can handle them. If push comes to shove, we will play draw and win ice land and Croatia

  • I watch the draw live, sampaoli was shocked when he heard NIGERIA again. I knw messi will be at the goal post then

  • OK naa let’s wait and see. We also av moses that will lead us pass tru Argentina red sea.

  • Wat if injury kept him away messi

  • What if Messi miss the match… Also know we have Simon, Ogu, Onyekuru & Uncle balogun

  • Messi wnt be in that game go and Penn it down…he has been overated

  • We only need to play two holding mid fielders against Argentina and the rest will be history

  • Joseph Harry 4 years ago

    Haha Jorge Sampaoli Is Relying On Messi Super Eagles Would Reduce Him To Mess He Would Not Score Even One Goal, I Trust The Super Eagles To Be Up To The Task

  • Edoman 4 years ago

    We must watch the Europeans as well. We must not take Croatia and those folks from the Ice for granted. The Ices guys knocked out the Netherlanders. Don’t take Akpeyi along to Russia. Messi will him mess him up.

  • Can someone tell this man that we also have MMII…mikel, Moses, owobi, igalo

  • Messi will be injured before our game

    I just saw the vision

  • messi w score
    on dat day pen it down

  • Ah ah ah jah, I c injury, before Nigeria vs Argentina match, ah ah ah, messi will be injured.

  • Ifeanyi 4 years ago

    Hmmmm don’t take any team forgranted Croatia and Iceland are very strong teams, World Cup is a different ballgame,so we need to prepare well. We must win our first two matches if we want to progress to the second round.

  • We have Mikel….lemme come and be going

  • We’ve Victor Moses as well. Energy will be der for him to use and by den he will av been crown BBC best Africa player. Argentina in particular I want us to beat. Even though we no qualify later no p.

  • Adeyi Ode 4 years ago

    The African magician, Gernot Rohr will simply cast a spell on the Argentines and all you will see on the field on that day would be some ‘frogs’ in white and blue stripes hopping aimlessly in total confusion, and at the end of the day, the Eagles will soar!

  • he shall fall sick on that game day

  • Pls our coach shld invite Enyama back, bcos Ezenwa and Akpeyi will just be looking at Messi on the field of play,. So na the Messi be this, finally I don see ham live for field, I most take he Jersey after the match. b4 you no goal

  • Onyeagoro Johnson Chima 4 years ago

    What is special about Messi? Was he not in their team when Argentina struggled to qualify? Can he play the goalkeeping role? Is he in the back line of the team? He plays in one department only.So,why making him important all the time? Argentina is not a strong team they use to be in time past. For them to be in pot 1 is just deceitful courtesy of Fifa ranking. Going by current form, they ought to be in pot 4 as Nigeria who should be in pot 1. So, let us stop all this noise of Messi. Mark my words, Argentina will struggle in the group matches and will pray that Nigeria soft pedal for them in the last group match. Just like the qualifiers, Nigeria will qualify before the last match with Argentina.

    • charles emeka okwu 4 years ago

      Well said bro. My greatest worry about the current eagles team is the goal keeping position. Aside that the team has players who can surprise any team on its good day. The team bond is strong, they are young, energetic and diciplined as well. The team am scared of in our group is iceland because they re unpredictable. Argentina is no stranger to us while croatia with due respect has quality players but majority of them are past their prime and over 30yrs of age. Rohr should scout for more quality players to beef up the team. The addition of a credible centre who will debutize the likes of ekong and balogun, a younger midfielder who will understuty and stand in for mikel if injury or fatique raises its ugly head and a striker who can compete with iheanacho amd ighalo for a starters shirt. Rohr should try his best in getting any of akpoguma who plays for hoffenheim, uduokhai who plays for wolfburg or torunarigha who stars for hertha berlin as a cover or competitor for and central defensive duo. Spur’s onomah who is out on loan to aston villa has the talent to succeed mikel while tammy abraham should be reapproached.

  • charles emeka okwu 4 years ago

    The team rohr and the boys should be wary of is iceland. The dont boast of known players but very strong as a unit with high work rate and tactical. They re very disiciplined and can hurt any team in the world who underates them. Croatia is good team with big players but most of their stars are near or above 30 so i doubt if they can cope with the strenght,agility and pace of our young team. Argentina are perenial spoilers for us but not withstanding thw team doesnt look great like their previous teams. They rely solely on messi who have delivered them single handedly in numerous occasions but a kin follower of the la liga and fc barcelona will attest that messi have slowed down. He is still the talisman of the team but he is way below is best. To be candid the group is a tough one but i forsee rohr and his boys making it to the 2nd round. Rohr is a man who have won my heart with the way he has tinkered the team since he took over and i have no doubt he will do his utmost best to excel in russia.

  • Who is messi…a single tree can never make a forest..

  • Abdulrazak 4 years ago

    Firstly, Messi, if he had played in the days of Pele and Maradona would not be as eulogised as he perhaps is today. Secondly, football is a team sport not like lawn tennis. Argentina plays wonderful football for perhaps 30 minutes of 90 minutes and then any team that is well organised will take them to the cleaners
    Their defence is slow and ageing. Of the three teams in our group i fear the Croatia team most. East European countries play technical and organised football and if we get past them, we shall be in the round of 16.

  • Call’moi Segzy Rey

  • Hmmmm! Actually Messi is my fear but remember the store of Moses in Bible. I sincerely believe our own Victor Moses will rescue us from the hands of our enemies yes! Argentina now become our best enemy. No mercy in football #one football #onegame.

  • One man army….. Even with Messi it can never be easy to go through the Eagles

  • Messi will not play that day.

  • We get Moses too, u no say na problem for argentina, Moses go too hot for dem because dem no get defence, na wetin e do camerounian defender dat day na him, him go do Argentina

  • You have messi and we have God

  • Will have many player also

  • Since their coach is counting on messi,on that day he will see, what happened to M Sallah on Champions league final will happen in the match against Nigeria and Argentina because our players are ready to give messi an injury too, maybe he might brake his spinal code…i guess.