Jorge Sampaoli: I was instructing Lionel Messi vs. Nigeria, not consulting him

Nigeria take on Argentina on Tuesday. AFP

Nigeria take on Argentina on Tuesday. AFP

Rojo then struck a superb late victor to snatch victory and book a meeting with Group C winners France in Kazan on Saturday in the first game of the second phase of the tournament. "It's always a strong team to play against".

As the drama unfolded in St Petersburg, Iceland was simultaneously fighting with all its Nordic might for a win over the Croats in Rostov-on-Don that could have sent them through.

He did get on the scoresheet in Argentina's dramatic 2-1 win over Nigeria however, which saw the two-time winners of the tournament qualify by the skin of their teeth.

"We already knew we were going to win, we were confident that God would help us, that all would turn out well".

Clearly, there was plenty of relief at the result - both from Argentina's players and supporters.

"There is so much expectation around Messi, which I think is normal, but still I think the Argentina team has a lot to show", said Lloris.

Sampaoli has also called on the other Argentina players to match Messi's level as they bid for a place in the quarter-finals at the Kazan Arena on Saturday.

"He has a special ability to see the game that is only possible for a genius and a lot of the time it is hard to be at the level of a genius like him".

Somehow, Argentina are through to the last-16 of the World Cup.

Sampaoli said his team would summon more aggression against France, one of the favourites to win the tournament in Russian Federation.

A stunning Andre Carrillo volley gave Peru their first World Cup goal in 36 years before captain Paolo Guerrero grabbed a second as the Andean nation condemned Australia to a 2-0 defeat in Sochi on Tuesday and an early exit from Russian Federation.

Umtiti, who is expected to start dicey encounter after missing out of Les Bleus last group fixture against Denmark, revealed that stopping the Argentina's star is no easy task.

FIFA has now commented on the situation by providing support for a player widely regarded to be one of the greatest ever and urged the 57-year-old - part of the FIFA Legends Program - to be respectful.

Latest News