Argentina Coach Steps Aside, Messi To Pick Starting XI against Nigeria

Ahead of the all-important Group D World Cup showdown between the Super Eagles and Argentina on Tuesday, there has been serious crisis rocking the Argentine camp.

According to Daily Mail, Argentina has purportedly demoted coach Jorge Sampaoli of his powers over the team and some senior players led by Lionel Messi have been tasked with the responsibility of choosing the starting lineup that will face Nigeria in Saint Petersburg.

The row from the country's 1-1 draw with Iceland and the 3-0 defeat by Croatia in their first two World Cup matches has greatly affected the Argentine national team’s relationship with their manager to the extent that superior powers had to step in.

Ex-Argentine World Cup star, Ricardo Giusti who won the World Cup in 1986 has said that he has spoken with the country’s FA general manager, Jorge Burruchaga in respect of having the likes of Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano pick their best-suited players for the match against Nigeria.

”The players will decide the team, that's a fact. If Sampaoli wants to sit in the bench, he can do it. If not, no problem”, Giusti was quoted as saying.

Argentina could possibly be on their way out of the World Cup in the group stage for the first time since 2002 if Nigeria beat or even draw with them at the Saint-Petersburg Stadium on Tuesday evening.

This article was most recently revised and updated 4 years ago

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