This clip appears to show that Lionel Messi is Argentina’s player-manager
Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli appeared to ask Lionel Messi whether he should bring Sergio Aguero on
Jorge Sampaoli avoided having his passport revoked after Argentina narrowly made it through the group stages with a win against Nigeria.
But was it by luck or judgement? Or, rather, was it by Lionel or judgement?
With the score still poised at 1-1 and Argentina heading home, Sampaoli appeared to turn to his main man Messi.
Cameras picked up the human Duracell Bunny in an animated conversation with Messi, one that seemed to show where the power lies in the Argentina camp.
According to TyC Sports, Sampaoli said: “Should I sub on Kun (Aguro).”
Lionel Messi- goat first, player-manager second.
Sampaoli le pregunta a Messi si pone al Kun. Lloro. El DT es una caricatura. pic.twitter.com/V13oci3bla
— Charlie CARP (@CARP_CC) June 26, 2018
Sampaoli did introduce Aguero, although he waited until ten minutes before the end and had already turned to the uninspiring Maximiliano Meza before making the change.
His tactical decisions were all the more baffling given Argentina desperately needed a goal and had the talents of Paulo Dybala and Giovani Lo Celso sitting on the bench.
To be fair, when has Aguero ever scored an important late goal?
Even with Aguero and Messi on the pitch Argentina had to rely on Marcos Rojo’s right foot to safely secure a passage to the next round.
Rojo finished like a seasoned striker, although his strike would likely have infuriated Jose Mourinho given his hatred of full-backs crossing the half-way line.
Take note, Ashley Young.