Simeone overheard after Argentina debacle: Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo?

Lionel Messi best ever without World Cup Cesc Fabregas

"You have to admire what he has done for his national team". "I see that the team is lost". Messi led his country to three global major titles - twice in Copa America (2015 and 2016) and in 2014 FIFA World Cup - but ended as runners-up in all the three finals.

That's exactly what those at Moscow's Altufyevo Confectionery thought when it realised Lionel Messi would be spending his 31st birthday in the city on Sunday.

Simeone said: "The goalkeeper has done this before hasn't he German, he did it against Spain, against Italy when they hit the post, and if you slip up like that in a World Cup, it's a goal".

"We have been practicing some particular things, but until I have everything set in my head, I don't want to reveal a starting XI because I have not communicated that yet to my players and we have practiced different combinations". He should have started against Iceland, the weaker team, in the way he played against Croatia because they are a much weaker team and the other way round - the way he played against Iceland was how he should have played against Croatia.

The Argentine federation was even forced to confirm that Jorge Sampaoli would continue for the final group game amid rumours of a rift between players and coach.

"Right now in the dressing room they are coming to blows".

At the time, the Barcelona skipper admitted that he did not think through his retirement announcement. "Nigeria is going to beat Iceland and there you will have the chance to beat Nigeria and pass, as long as Iceland does not win against Croatia".

Such a pleasant gift would cheer up Messi after being criticized for his tepid performances at his fourth World Cup with Argentina facing the shocking prospect of exiting the tournament early.

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