Exclusive: Jorge Sampaoli makes promise to Leo Messi: ‘You will touch the ball more often vs Nigeria’

  • Argentina must beat Nigeria as they expect their leader to help them
  • Head coach Sampaoli appears ready to change his gameplan

Troubled Argentina Coach Sampoli has promised Lionel Messi heaven on earth on their final game against the Super Eagles Nigeria.

Leo Messi enjoyed fewer touches of the ball against Croatia [3-0 defeat] than goalkeeper Willy Caballero. With Albiceleste having their crucial match tomorrow, something has got to change.

Sampaoli said at his pre-match press conference: “I think that match [vs Croatia] was complicated for Leo, the structure of the game didn’t favour him and he didn’t get a lot of balls from the midfield. If he had the ball less than usual it’s because Argentina didn’t dominate the match as we did against Iceland.

“We are going to try and improve that and we are sure that is not going to happen tomorrow. For the good of Argentina, I am sure Lionel Messi can do better than in our previous match.”

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