Rojo reveals Messi's HT team-talk
Posted: 27 June 2018 Time: 16:52
Argentina goal-hero Marcus Rojo revealed what captain Lionel Messi said in what appeared to be an inspired half-time teamtalk against Nigeria with head coach Jorge Sampaoli notably absent.
With reports surfacing that Sampaoli lost the Argentina dressing room after an indifferent start to Russia 2018, the actions displayed against the Super Eagles did little to suggest his denial of the allegations.
The senior figures within the squad are said to have selected the starting XI while captain Lionel Messi appeared to have sanctioned the substitutions on the night.
And after the game, Sampaoli walked straight down the tunnel without celebrating with the rest of his side as they reveled to the sound of the final whistle.
With the South American giants through to the round of 16, Rojo attributed his winning strike to the inspiring words of the five-time Ballon d'Or winner - who opened the scoring on the evening.
"During halftime, Messi said that all of us have the duty to score so whenever we get the chance, we shoot, no matter our position... So, when I saw that ball coming towards me, I kicked it in with all that I had in me and [laughs] it went in," he said after the game.
Looks like Sampaoli has gone for a hot dog while Messi takes over as manager... ???????? pic.twitter.com/e1FCoNKC8N— SportsJOE (@SportsJOEdotie) June 26, 2018
"During the game, he told everyone that it was either life or death. It could’ve gone badly. We could’ve conceded but Leo was stubborn. He told me to run forward. Even Mascherano.
"He told everyone to attack no matter what. He read the game and risks. He’s a leader. The best."