Messi & Ronaldo face off in rival Kazan murals (VIDEO, PHOTO)

Video footage showed Sampaoli and Messi in pitch-side dialogue, before substitute Aguero was introduced. Indeed, Argentinian journalist Fernando Niembro has even accused the captain of taking over squad selection duties from Sampaoli.

Lionel Messi finally arrived at the 2018 FIFA World Cup as he found his name on the scoresheet in Argentina's thrilling 2-1 victory over Nigeria in their final group game that ensured passage to the knockout stage.

"I have not made a proper analysis of Argentina's style yet". Shortly afterwards, the Manchester City striker was introduced for the final ten minutes in Saint Petersburg, replacing defender Nicolás Tagliafico.

The twice World Cup champions will face France in the last 16 while Croatia, who advance as winners of Group D with the maximum nine points after beating Iceland 2-1, will take on Denmark.

Come 26th June, after Argentina successfully crossed the Nigerian hurdle, the reporter came back to Messi and asked him if he remembers taking the ribbon from him.

Supporters of Nigeria's soccer team described their heartbreak after watching the elimination of the national side from the World Cup on Tuesday following a late Argentina goal.

"When Leo came and hugged me I felt very proud and happy because he knows I am passionate every single day".

We have players in our team who played a few times with him or against him in LaLiga.

"It is so clear, everyone can see that it was a clear handball and it is supposed to be a penalty", said Ogundeji.

Federation Internationale de Football Association said it had no plans to change its fair play criteria.

Modric has been one of the tournament's most outstanding players and was sublime in Croatia's 3-0 win over Argentina.

And the match-winner has not only credited Messi as giving the players a confidence boost with his words of wisdom, but also advising him to push forward as much as possible in his rousing talk.

Messi told everyone that it was either life or death. I told MESSI that we were going to use a plan which we had already trained, a more offensive one. We knew it was going to be a hard afternoon, but fortunately we have achieved our aim.