Reports about a rift between Argentina captain, Lionel Messi, and Albiceleste coach, Alejandro Sabella, have emerged from their camp.
Messi had criticized Sabella for his 5-3-2 tactics in the first half against Bosnia and Herzegovina and reportedly ‘ordered’ a change of tactics at half-time.
Argentina entered the second half with a double substitution and changed the system to 4-3-3 which seemingly helped Messi, who had been poor in the first 45 minutes, to find to his game.
The 26-year-old told media after the match that “Sabella himself realised” that Fernando Gago and Gonzalo Higuain had to come on.
Former Argentina national team coach, Alfio Basile, told Ole that Sabella was annoyed with these comments undermining his authority.
"For me it is bad," he said.
"The coach must be the one in charge. (Such things) should be kept in the dressing-room. Sabella will be annoyed, although he will not say anything. It will not have an effect."
Other reports suggested that Messi had been irritated with Sabella after the 59-year-old left Messi’s friend, Ever Banega, out of Argentina’s final World Cup squad.
However, Manchester City centre-back Martin Demichelis told TYC Sports Banega's exclusion showed that the coach was the one who made the calls.
"The only one who takes decisions here is Sabella, and he has our backing," he said.
"They are blaming Leo. When the coach gives a list of 23, it is clear that Messi does not put in or take out anyone, because he was surprised by the exclusion of Banega.”
Argentina are expected to line-up in a 4-3-3 formation when they face Iran in their second Group F match on Saturday.
Do you think Lionel Messi played better in the 4-3-3 system? Have your say in the comment section below.