Lionel Messi and company have failed to impress at the 2018 FIFA World Cup so far, and are on the brink of elimination. The squad is said to blame Jorge Sampaoli for their form, which led to a meeting where the players reportedly requested that the manager step down before their final group game.
The Albiceleste put on an uninspired performance in their opening match against Iceland, picking up just one point, while their next game saw them embarrassed by a Croatia team led by Real Madrid midfielder Luka Modric.
It was men against boys when the Croats thrashed Argentina 3-0 last week Thursday, but with Iceland losing 2-0 to Nigeria in their second match of Group D, Messi and his teammates still have a chance of qualifying for the next round.
The players, like most of the Argentina public, are said to be unhappy with the job Sampaoli has done so far, and want to him to be sacked before their final group match against Nigeria.
According to The Sun, the team met with the manager to ask him to step down ahead of their clash with the African side, and to request that general manager of the side, Jorge Barruchaga, takes over.
It is believed that the meeting on Friday night did not go as planned, though there has been claims since that the Argentina squad will select their starting XI when they play Nigeria.
Ricardo Giusti, who was a teammate of Barruchaga at the 1986 World Cup, has said that Sampaoli has lost all power in the dressing room.
“The players want to build the team,” he said.
“They told Sampaoli and Tapia that they are going to pick the side. Sampaoli can sit on the bench if he wants, but it won’t matter. It will be nothing to do with him.”
Despite the players’ demands, Sampaoli will remain manager of the Argentina squad until the tournament, after which he will be sacked.
Credit – Soccerladuma