Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano has claimed the team’s relationship with coach Jorge Sampaoli is normal despite rumours of a player revolt at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Following Argentina’s 3-0 defeat to Croatia which left them battling to avoid elimination from the World Cup at the group stage, there were reports that the coach would be sacked and the team selection for the final group game against Nigeria on Tuesday decided by the players.
Mascherano admitted that the players had raised their concerns at a meeting with Sampaoli.
‘The relationship with Sampaoli is totally normal, but if we feel uncomfortable, we will raise it, otherwise we would be hypocrites,” the Hebei Fortune midfielder stated during a press conference on Sunday
‘The opposite would be to harm the team, we must seek the collective benefit, we are 23, also those of the squad.
‘We are not playing well and we take charge of the results. We will not be responding to things the others do.’
Mascherano also revealed that at the meeting with Sampaoli the coach had sought the views of his players.
“At the meeting, we talked about football to help us and get this out of the game, we have to make positive things, there’s a lot of myth in the meetings, the best technicians ask the players for advice too, because we are the ones who decide in the field,’ added the former Barcelona player.
“The coach is the one who gives us the tools alone to be comfortable in the field but you have to talk, it happens in all places, also in Barca.
“He wants to know what happens to you on the field to be able to make decisions, they are basic soccer concepts.”