Argentina’s World Cup camp descended into chaos on Saturday night with reports that Jorge Sampaoli would stay on as coach but be stripped of effective power before Tuesday night’s vital fixture with Nigeria.
With 2018 billed as the last chance for Lionel Messi to win the World Cup, the fallout from a 1-1 draw with Iceland and the 3-0 defeat with Croatia has seen senior players take concerns to AFA general manager Jorge Burruchaga.
And Argentina’s 1986 World Cup winner Ricardo Giusti has claimed that he has spoken to Burruchaga, who has admitted that the players would be consulted for the Nigeria game.
Giusti said: ‘The players will decide the team, that’s a fact. If Sampaoli wants to sit in the bench, he can do it. If not, no problem.’
Sampaoli was reported to be in talks with Argentine FA president Claudio Tapia late on Saturday night but looked like keeping his job, though having to take account of the players’ concerns.
Messi and Javier Mascherano, as the senior players, would be most likely to be consulted to revive the campaign, with Argentina needing a win over Nigeria to take second place in the group, assuming that Iceland don’t beat Croatia and better Argentina’s goal difference.