Wednesday, 15 August, 2018

Russian roulette game starts in Spain for Sampaoli's Argentina

Vazquez wants Spain to face Messi Vazquez wants Spain to face Messi
Domingo Copeland | 28 March, 2018, 01:26

There had been doubts as to whether the Argentina captain would be available for selection after a muscle problem kept him out of Saturday's 2-0 friendly win over Italy played at Manchester City's Etihad Stadium.

Lionel Messi was so frustrated with Argentina's woeful performance against Spain on Tuesday evening he walked off before the match had finished.

The news will give Sampaoli another setback as they have just one more game against Israel to the start of the 2018 World Cup in Russian Federation, as he had hoped to assess his team with the Barcelona star against Italy and Spain.

"He was tested yesterday and tried again today".

Lionel Messi was unavailable through injury for the second consecutive friendly and Argentina undoubtedly missed their star player.

Having missed out on selection for Argentina's most recent worldwide selection, behind Messi, Sergio Aguero and Gonzalo Higuain, Dybala has work to do if he is to force his way into his national side for this summer's World Cup.

Messi is confident of returning to the pitch on Tuesday when La Albiceleste face the Spanish at the Wanda Metropolitano (21h30 kickoff). "If there was a risk, he'd have told us".

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"It is impossible to teach something to Messi".

"You can't teach him anything".

"It would be good if we could start to circulate around a player who can strengthen the rest", Sampaoli said on Monday with some understatement.

"Luckily, the dialogue with him is very constant".

Speaking ahead of Brazil's game against Germany, he said: "I think that Coutinho is a player who is on the same level as Ney, he has a massive influence on our game and in his teams. We will go through this together".

Two of the World Cup's leading contenders will meet in Madrid tonight but neither Spain nor Argentina have yet settled on a forward line for this summer.

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