Former Argentina and new Leeds coach Marcelo Bielsa has predicted Lionel Messi and his team will find “a different style of performance” at the World Cup after their thrilling 2-1 victory over Nigeria on Tuesday night carried them into the round of 16.
A humiliating 3-0 defeat to Croatia on Thursday had left the team in crisis, with reports that the players tried and failed to have coach Jorge Sampaoli sacked in the wake of the result.
But after the sudden death win over the Super Eagles, Bielsa insists in our video below that he still has faith in Argentina, Messi and Sampaoli, who succeeded him in charge of Chile in 2012.
Bielsa knows what it’s like to feel the pressure of being part of La Albiceleste after being manager of the national team from 1998 to 2004, including the 2002 World Cup when Argentina bowed out in the group stages.
With two wins each both nations have already confirmed their passage to the knockout stages. So with little to play for the possibility opens up of resting key players ahead of the testing round of 16 matches.
Although he didn’t confirm it Belgium manager Roberto Martinez hinted at the possibility that he may rest players against the Three Lions. Check out his comments in the video below.
Thousands of them camped outside the hotel in St Petersburg on the days before the crucial match against Nigeria to wish their team well.
The stakes couldn’t be higher for Lionel Messi and his team who must beat Nigeria on Tuesday night 22:00 UAE time and hope Iceland do not do the same against Croatia to stay in the World Cup.
The Argentina fans serenaded their heroes and the players even joined in with some impromptu drumming. Check out the video below.