FIFA World Cup 2018, Match 39 : Argentina vs Nigeria,
Messi in do-or-die clash.
- Messi’s Argentina team will be eliminated from this world cup with a defeat or a tie.
- To qualify for the Round of 16, Argentina need to beat Nigeria and pray that Iceland loses against Croatia
- If Iceland beats Croatia, Argentina will need to beat Nigeria by two more goals than the number of goals Iceland scored to win their match
That man is Lionel Messi, whose inability to win a world cup trophy with the current Argentine squad has dogged his record breaking career. Argentina currently sit at fourth place in Group D and faces second-placed Nigeria in their last group match today at 11:30 P.M. IST.
From Group D, with 6 points, Croatia sit on top of the table and only need one point against Iceland to win the group. Nigeria with 4 points can top the group table if they beat Argentina and Croatia lose to Iceland, as well as if Nigeria’s goal difference improves ahead of Croatia.
Struggling to make their mark, Iceland will aim for nothing less than a win.
A win against Argentina will guarantee Nigeria a place in the second round.
A draw may also be enough even if Iceland beat already-qualified Croatia, depending on goal difference.
For Argentina, they must beat Nigeria and hope Iceland do not win against Croatia, as that could send them home again depending on goal difference.
Messi’s Russian campaign threatens to be remembered for the poor penalty kick. It costed Argentina’s victory over Iceland. Then there was the under rated performance that followed by a 3-0 loss against Croatia. Argentina’s chances are hanging by a thread and unless Messi’s own performances improve, he will likely retire from the international stage without being a world champion given that he will be 35 when the next World Cup comes around in four years.
“It means so much because for Argentina the World Cup is special – and for me too. I’ve always had the dream of watching me raise the World Cup. And then seeing the emotion that goes with it. My hair stands on end just thinking about that moment. It would make millions of Argentine’s in the world happy. So we cannot give up on that dream” – Messi quoted.
As a speculation around Messi’s retirement, the 31-year-old made a strong statement on whether or not he will hang his boots after Tuesday’s fixture. “I have won all the most important tournaments but I am ambitious to the end. I would not likely to retire from active football without being a world champion with my country”, Messi was quoted as saying by Mirror UK.