Argentina have last shot at World Cup salvation

Argentina's forward Lionel Messi controls the ball during a training session at the team's base camp in Bronnitsy

Argentina have last shot at World Cup salvation

According to the Daily Mail, the striker - who has had an underwhelming start to his World Cup campaign - will be sacrificed as Argentina switch to a 4-3-3 formation on their players' request.

It means Argentina must beat Nigeria - they have done so four times previously at World Cups - to retain any hope of the Barcelona superstar embellishing his magnificent career with the sport's greatest prize.

The Russian showpiece has been a ideal storm of pressure for Messi, as not only has he struggled after missing a penalty against Iceland but Cristiano Ronaldo's incredible return of four goals in two games has put the spotlight on the Argentine even more.

Jorge Sampaoli's charges are on the verge of being knocked out at the group stage of the global showpiece, after drawing 1-1 with Iceland and losing 3-0 to Croatia.

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However, bouncing back will take a huge improvement in performance and strength of character so far unseen from the two-time world champions in Russian Federation.

Will Argentina get the result they need on Tuesday night?

"I'm furious and very upset inside, because anyone who wore that (Argentina) shirt can't see it being trampled like that by a Croatian team that isn't Germany, that isn't Brazil, that isn't Holland or Spain", he said.

"For some other teams it wouldn't be a disgrace but it would at least be a shock if they didn't to qualify for the final 16".

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With so much talent in the squad, the South Americans boast the likes of Messi, Aguero, Di Maria, Dybala and Higuaín, many expected the '86 winners to pose a serious threat to the title.

"I am convinced that the team will go out tomorrow with a lot of energy to win the game".

He is also just the second African player to register two goals in two World Cup matches since Cameroon's Roger Milla in 1990.

"But obviously I think we must work together".

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"Yes, he is playing well, but if you really look at what he has done, he has scored one penalty, one free kick, one goal from a corner and one with a shot that David De Gea should have saved".

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