Argentina 1978 World Cup winner and Tottenham Hotspur legend Ossie Ardiles has thanked Lionel Messi for scoring a special goal against Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup but expressed disappointment over the Barcelona star’s poor campaign in Russia.
Ardiles stated this while reacting to Argentina’s ouster from this year’s FIFA World Cup after they lost 4-3 to France in Saturday’s round of 16 clash.
Messi’s only highlight at this year’s World Cup was a superb goal against Nigeria where he skillfully controlled Ever Banega’ s long pass before shooting past Francis Uzoho for his one and only goal in Russia.
Aside from the goal against Nigeria, the five-time FIFA Player of the Year had a poor World Cup by his standards.
In a Twitter rant following their elimination, Ardiles berated Messi for his lack of leadership.
He also slammed Jorge Sampaoli and the rest of the Argentine squad for a poor performance.
“Messi: You played a very sad role in this World Cup. When things did not go well (and that happened too many times in this tournament) we expected much more of you.
“Lead by example, do not lower your arms. At the end of the day, many thanks for that special goal against Nigeria and I wish you the best of luck in your future.
“Congratulations to France and the best of luck in the coming games.
“Argentina: A great sadness. We could have had a very good team.
“But mistakes were made in all areas. Perhaps the first and fundamental was to have made Sampaoli our manager.
“Their inconsistency, their indecision, their lack of leadership played a key part in our sad role.
“A single plan: Give the ball to Messi and wait for the miracle.
“We have very high level players: Messi, the best in the world, but also Otamendi and Aguero, players from the English Premier League.
“Icardi, Higuain and Dybala, from Italian football. Of these five players, only one played today.
“Sampaoli never knew which was his best team. Nor his tactical training. Back? Or 4? Chaos.
“Future for Argentina: Start all over again. With new faces, with courage.
“Learn from so many mistakes and renew. Where does the renewal begin? In 4 years we will be there. Where we should be.”