Lionel Messi to have more ball time against Nigeria, says coach Sampaoli

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Messi Lionel

Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli says star player Lionel Messi will see more of the ball in their crucial Group D match on Tuesday against Nigeria.

Argentina suffered a 3-0 loss against Croatia on June 21, with captain Messi especially isolated, only touching the ball 20 times in the first half, Xinhua news agency reported.

“I think that match was complicated for Leo, the structure of the game did not favor him,” Sampaoli told reporters during a pre-match press conference in Saint Petersburg.

“He did not get a lot of the ball from midfield and that was a mistake. If he had the ball less than usual then it is because Argentina did not dominate or have that many opportunities.

“But we have worked on that and, for the good of Argentina, I am sure Lionel Messi will have the ball much more against Nigeria than in the previous match,” he added.

Business Standard

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