BURN! Athletico Madrid manager Diego Simeone added fuel to fire post Lionel Messi’s poor display against against Croatia, suggesting that Cristiano Ronaldo is more capable of lifting up a “normal team” than the Barcelona star.
Argentina went into the tournament with a good bunch of firepower with the likes of Aguero, Di Maria, Gonzalo Higuain , Pablo Dybala and Leo Messi. however, the Argentinians failed to deliver so far in the 21st edition of the FIFA World Cup, aftr their draw against tournament debutants, Iceland and a thumping defeat by the hands of Croatia.
Simeone’s comments, made in a WhatsApp audio message to his Atletico Madrid assistant, German Burgos, were leaked in Spain following Argentina’s humiliating 3-0 defeat by Croatia.
Questions can be asked, pertaining to how much can one person -Lionel Messi- do single-handedly to win a game for Argentina, but the 5-time Ballon’Dor winner has come under scrutiny and scathing criticism from fans and pundits.
Discussing Argentina’s exit, Simeone insinuated he would pick Ronaldo, who has already scored four goals for Portugal in Russia, over Messi for a “normal team”.
“Messi is very good but he is very good because he is accompanied by extraordinary players,” Simeone said.
“But if you had to choose between Messi and Ronaldo for a normal team, who would you choose?”
Simeone, who captained Argentina during the 1998 World Cup, also criticised the current side for their lack of spirit and direction – an issue which he believes stretches back to the last World Cup.
“What we saw against Croatia is the picture of what has happened over the past four years,” said Simeone.
“I do not see anyone leading. There is no leadership, either from the coach, who should be leading, or the players, who should be led. I see that the team is lost.
“It is clear that in the dressing room players are holding on to fists but in these situations, you need someone to fight.
“We all say the players are the most important part of the game and the coach usually play it down when players mess it up, but the Coach is also participating in this.”
should Argentina qualify to the next round, Leo Messi and Argentina would really have to bring their ‘A-game’ on.