Lionel Messi before the start of the game Image: AFP
So, Zlatko Dalic’s words finally ring true.
The Croatia manager had predicted the outcome of the FIFA World Cup Group D clash against Argentina in favour of his side, and that is exactly what happened.
La Albiceleste fans are unhappy as Lionel Messi and his boys are on the brink of an embarrassing World Cup exit after losing 0-3 to Dalic’s side, which was extremely clinical in Nizhny Novgorod yesterday.
Although the Argentine defenders and goalkeeper Willy Caballero made a mockery of themselves, fans as always, found it apt to blame Messi for everything that went wrong.
Here’s what those ranting on Twitter had to say:
Diego Maradona, who helped Argentina win the 1986 World Cup, is in Russia to cheer on his country. But now, after the embarrassing rout against the Croats, even his optimism is on the wane.
Probably getting a whiff of his country's fate in the tournament, he turned emotional and eventually broke down.
In the wake of such mud-slinging by fans and critics alike, Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has defended Messi, admitting that his side's World Cup match against Croatia was effectively a must-win.
Sampaoli admitted Argentina's “window of opportunity” was narrowing after the draw but said he was confident his team could put things right.
“We need to move on to the next phase, that's what we came here for. We don't want to go to the last match not having resolved that," he said.
Asked repeatedly about Messi, Sampaoli said the disappointing start against Iceland was not the fault of his star player, despite the penalty miss.
“We were quite upset about not having won the match but I think... Leo should not shoulder all the responsibility,” he added.
(With inputs from PTI)