It was claimed that Lionel Messi told Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli to bring on Sergio Aguero in the Albiceleste's dramatic clash with Nigeria, but what was really said between the coach and his captain has now seemingly been revealed.
The Albiceleste coach was seen shouting in the direction of Messi late in the second half of the 2018 FIFA World Cup clash, and many news outlets reported that he had asked Messi whether or not he should bring on Aguero.
However, Spanish publication Sport has suggested that Sampaoli did not ask the Argentina captain what he thought of a potential Aguero substitution, but rather informed him of a tactical change – the manager had reportedly told Messi, who often appeared as a second striker next to Gonzalo Higuain in the game, to drop deeper.
As a consequence, Aguero and Higuain led the line while Messi dropped into the No. 10 role after the Manchester City forward entered the pitch in the 79th minute.
The tactic seemingly worked too. When Marcos Rojo scored Argentina's late winner, Aguero appeared on the near post while Higuain entered the box at the far post, and Messi was lurking outside the box, leaving space for the Manchester United defender to enter the gap between the two strikers.
Argentina will now face France in the last 16, and it remains to be seen how Sampaoli will line up his team for a tie worthy of a final.
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