Under-fire Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli thanked Lionel Messi for sharing a bit of affection with him after his side’s dramatic 2-1 over Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup on Tuesday.
Click through the gallery above to see images of pictures of Argentina’s 2-1 win over Nigeria.
The FC Barcelona star scored the opening goal of the match, but it was Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo’s late volley, which earned La Albiceleste all three points and a place in the competition's round of 16.
In a week, which reportedly saw a group players attempt to get Sampaoli fired, the team managed to step up for their critical clash against the Super Eagles and the manager had nothing but praise for his captain.
“You know when Leo came and hugged me, I felt very proud and happy because he knows I am passionate, very passionate every single day,” Sampaoli said after the game, as quoted by the Daily Mail.
“I have had the chance to travel with him, share many moments with him. He knows we had this common dream in coming to Russia.
“The most important thing about Leo is his human side. He is a person who laughs, who cries, who suffers when Argentina wins.
“I have seen him happy and sad in crisis times like today. People say he does not enjoy playing for Argentina, but I do not agree.
“He loves playing for Argentina, and that makes him even bigger.”
Argentina will now face Group C winners France on Saturday at 16:00 at the Kazan Arena.
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