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John Giles on Messi | "I t...

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John Giles on Messi | "I think he packed it in tonight"

Off The Ball
Off The Ball

09:54 21 Jun 2018


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Argentina could still escape their World Cup group but after the 3-0 loss to Croatia, it's not looking likely for Lionel Messi and co.

The Albiceleste were outclassed by a team staffed by Luka Modric, Ivan Rakitic and co and with one point from two games, a beleaguered Argentina need to beat Nigeria convincingly in their final group game and also require other results involving the Super Eagles and Iceland to go their way in order to sneak into the last-16. And even if they qualify, who would bank on them going beyond the last-16?

John Giles watched the action unfold in the Off The Ball office and joined Nathan on the Football Show at full time to give us his take on what he saw.  

"Actually, that's the best display I've seen in this competition so far. By a long way," he said of Croatia, also lavishing Modric with praise for the way he ran the game.

 

 

On Messi and Argentina, John feels the Barcelona star will be furious with what happened as well as with the manager over the decision to substitute Sergio Aguero and subsequently "packed it in" in the sense of becoming disheartened as Argentina faded.

"I think he packed it in tonight," he said.

"The manager took Aguero off at a very early stage. I think it's heartbreaking for Aguero because he's not in the game but there's loads of games that he wasn't in but can score you a goal. I think Messi saw this. Now I wouldn't be surprised if there was a big row in the dressing room tonight."  

But despite his off-colour displays at this World Cup, John feels Messi should be judged on the brilliance he has brought in his career overall rather than the past couple of matches.

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