Argentina's Jorge Sampaoli compares Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo at 2018 FIFA World Cup
Posted: 22 June 2018 Time: 09:00
Argentina head coach Jorge Sampaoli compared the contributions of Lionel Messi and Portugal captain Cristiano Ronaldo at the FIFA World Cup while begging for the forgiveness of disgruntled supporters.
The South American giants suffered their heaviest defeat at the World Cup since 1958 in the 3-0 humbling against Croatia in their Group D fixture last night that's left them on the brink of an early exit.
And Sampaoli, who looked visibly distressed, pacing along the sidelines during their insipid display has issued an apology for their traveling supporters in Russia - taking full responsibility for the defeat.
"I would beg for their forgiveness, especially those Argentina supporters who made such a great effort to be here," he said in the official FIFA press-conference.
"And I repeat what I said, I'm responsible. I was just as dreamy-eyed as any fan before. So I’m hurt. I did the best job I could and I quite simply did not find a way to give them what they wanted."
The former Sevilla manager then inadvertently claimed their current squad has been the source of Messi's uninspiring displays thus far and it wouldn't be fair to compare to Ronaldo's record-breaking start to the tournament.
"I think Cristiano is a great player but right now we shouldn't compare these two players," Sampaoli said. "The reality of the Argentina squad clouds Leo’s brilliance."