Nigeria game a definitive moment in Messi’s career

Iceland players react in dejection at the end of the group D match between Nigeria and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd Russia Friday

Iceland players react in dejection at the end of the group D match between Nigeria and Iceland at the 2018 soccer World Cup in the Volgograd Arena in Volgograd Russia Friday

If the two teams are tied in differential, it goes to goals scored to figure out who advances, where Nigeria is now one goal ahead.

Lionel Messi cuts a forlorn figure in the middle of a World Cup pitch.

Even a win may not be enough for Argentina, who are bottom of the group - behind Croatia (six points), Nigeria (three) and Iceland (one).

However, bouncing back will take a huge improvement in performance and strength of character so far unseen from the two-time world champions in Russian Federation. It's been reported that Argentina players attempted to stage a coup after the Croatia game and have revolted against manager Jorge Sampaoli, which Javier Mascherano denied in a pre-match press conference. Meanwhile, the City star told reporters after the game that Sampaoli can: "say what he wants" after suffering a disappointing defeat to the Croatians.

"I would never say to my team that we're playing for a draw".

For all his heroics with Barcelona at club level, Messi is still often compared unfavourably in his homeland for his inability to recreate Maradona's success for the national team.

This team has lost the past three finals they have played - the 2014 World Cup and the Copa America in 2015 and 2016.

In sign of detente, North Korea skips annual anti-US rally
He said that framework couldn't be filled out without, Kim "making clear his intent to denuclearize", Pompeo said. North Korea and South Korea have also agreed to resume the reunions of war-torn families in mid-August.

And his 31st birthday on Sunday only served to highlight how time is running out for Messi to win a major worldwide tournament. But with a plus-five differential right now, it's very unlikely. If he had the ball less than usual then it is because Argentina did not dominate or have that many opportunities.

"We focus on our own game and the things we have to do to win this important game", Rohr said.

Achilles the cat has not been wrong yet in his predictions for all the World Cup games played in Saint Petersburg.

Messi, 31, is yet to score or provide an assist at the showpiece event, while he had a penalty saved during a 1-1 draw with Iceland.

The coach went up to Messi, giving him a kiss on the cheek and a pat on the back.

Messi was pictured with his head in his hand prior to kick-off against Croatia and Zabaleta has been concerned by his demeanour in Russian Federation.

"It is the most critical situation I have experienced, along with the Ecuador game", said Argentina midfielder Lucas Biglia on Sunday. He turned 31 on Sunday so he is getting older and sometimes, mentally, you can feel exhausted as well. Argentina are clinging to the hope their captain bails them out again.

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