Sports

Kempes: Messi and Maradona comparisons are nonsensical

Kempes: Messi and Maradona comparisons are nonsensical

"I believe that in the first match we were unable to take advantage of the favorable chances we had".

Sampaoli also appealed to Argentines to stop arguing about whether Messi is better or worse than Maradona, who won the World Cup in 1986, and appreciate both men's contributions to their nation's sporting history.

SAMPAOLI and ACUÑA discussed the team, the players, Lionel MESSI and more.

Messi arrived at the last World Cup finals in Brazil suffering from fatigue after a season of high-octane action with Barcelona and Sampaoli staged a meeting with his skipper last January to try and avoid a repeat.

"It's not true. If you saw him, like we've seen him suffer and cry!".

He added: "When we succeed with Argentina, everyone takes credit for it but when Argentina loses, it's always Leo's fault".

Croatia are the group leaders after a 2-0 victory against Nigeria in their first match. It's a lot of pressure for a single player to stand.

Nice And Easy - Manchester City Fans React To Premier League Fixtures
The Champions League draw does not take place until August but that hasn't stopped Mourinho's annoyance according to The Times . Newcastle face Tottenham (3rd), Cardiff (19th), Chelsea (5th), Man City (1st), Arsenal (6th) and Crystal Palace (11th).

Ivan Rakitic, Messi's teammate at Barcelona and part of Croatia's powerful midfield with Luka Modric, has no illusions about the Argentine's ability on the field.

"I still haven't confirmed the formation to the players. And I hope he will continue playing for as long as he wants and for as long as his health allows him to".

Sampaoli admitted Argentina's "window of opportunity" was narrowing after the draw but said he was confident his team could put things right.

It was the latest in a series of low points with the national side for Messi, who suffered defeat in three major finals between 2014 and 2016, leading him to briefly retire from worldwide duty.

Speaking about the day he won the World Cup with Argentina back in 1978, Kempes said it was a moment he will never forget. The country's last major title was the Copa America in 1993.

That near miss was then followed by two consecutive Copa America final losses with the second bringing about a shock global retirement.

Spain plays Morocco in their final group game at Kaliningrad Stadium Tuesday. The top two teams in each group advance to the round of 16. We will try to pass this quickly, " said the five-time Ballon d'Or victor.


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