Sampaoli to Messi: "Should I bring Agüero on?"

Amid talk that he has lost control of the team, Jorge Sampaoli was seen seeking out Lionel Messi's advice in Argentina's win over Nigeria.

Sampaoli to Messi: "Should I bring Agüero on?"
Giuseppe Cacace AFP

Rumours have abounded that head coach Jorge Sampaoli is no longer calling the shots in the Argentina dressing room, with suggestions that star man Lionel Messi is running the show. Indeed, Argentinian journalist Fernando Niembro has even accused the captain of taking over squad selection duties from Sampaoli.

Sampaoli appears to run Agüero decision by Messi

And Argentina's crucial 2-1 World Cup win over Nigeria on Tuesday - which saw the South Americans sneak into the last 16 in Russia despite collecting only a point from their opening two group games - threw up an apparent episode that will do little to quell talk of Sampaoli not being in control.

During a video assistant referee (VAR) review over a possible handball by Argentina's Gabriel Mercado, Sampaoli called Messi over to the touchline and, according to images published by TyC Sports, asked him: "Should I bring [Sergio] Agüero on?" Shortly afterwards, the Manchester City striker was introduced for the final ten minutes in Saint Petersburg, replacing defender Nicolás Tagliafico.

Agüero (centre) gets ready to come on.

Late Rojo goal sends Argentina through

After a second-half Victor Moses penalty had cancelled out Messi's early opener, Marcos Rojo's 86th-minute strike ensured all three points from what was a must-win clash for Argentina, who now go on to face France in Kazan on Saturday.

  • Midfielder
  • Argentina


Table PTS W D L
1Croacia 9 3 0 0
2Argentina 4 1 1 1
3Nigeria 3 1 0 2
Full standing
Next matches
Francia - Argentina S-30/06 16:00

*Update 27 de junio de 2018