'His game plan was a disgrace' - Maradona slams Sampaoli

Lionel Messi came close to winning the 2014 World Cup with Argentina

It's important to be fair when it comes to criticism. We need to be strong as a group, believe in ourselves and know we have all the tools to beat anybody.

The 2014 finalists were seen by many as Group D favourites - or even potential winners of the competition - but they were held to a stalemate by a dogged Icelandic side that are determined to make an impression at this tournament after their Euro 2016 heroics.

They appeared to have secured a breakthrough when Polish referee Szymon Marciniak pointed to the spot after Rurik Gislason brought Maximiliano Meza down in the 63rd minute.

Still in with a chance?

"This is just the beginning, there's still a lot left to play for."
Victor Moses, Iwobi and Ighalo all stand out, but as a whole, Nigeria have a very strong side.

A midfielder with Argentina's Independiente, the 25-year-old is hardly known outside South America - and the Group D opener will be only his third cap - but picking Meza over Juve playmaker Paulo Dybala or young striker Cristian Pavon means Messi is the undisputed heart of this team.

Manchester United boss Jose Mourinho has lauded Cristiano Ronaldo following his performance in Portugal's 3-3 draw with Spain in the World Cup in Russian Federation.


Four years ago, they were runners-up to Germany, but this team haven't shown the same sort of quality or cohesion prior to arriving in Russian Federation.

Losing your opening match is never a good position to be in, as it leaves you playing catch up with not many games to spare.

"Maybe we needed to be more creative in the first half - perhaps we needed some more through balls from midfield such as the one which led to the penalty".

Peru's Paolo Guerrero will look to prove his drug-ban controversy is behind him in the other Group C game against the Danes.

Two years on, "Les Bleus" arrive in Russian Federation with high hopes of young players such as Kylian Mbappe and Ousmane Dembele and buttressed by more experienced stars such as Manchester United's Paul Pogba and Antoine Griezmann, who announced this week he is staying at Atletico Madrid. It's crucial they lift the youthful players around them, and give the fans what they want.

Live chickens are sometimes seen at soccer matches in Nigeria where fans paint them in the green and white colors of their national flag before holding them aloft and leading crowd chanting.

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