Dont blame Messi, pleads Argentina boss Sampaoli

World Cup: 99.6% of Iceland's TV viewers watched Argentina draw

Asked repeatedly about Messi, Sampaoli said the disappointing start against Iceland was not the fault of his star player, despite the penalty miss.

Argentina face the prospect of an embarrassing first-round exit in Russian Federation after suffering a 3-0 loss to the Croatians in Nizhny Novgorod, which left them with one point from two games.

Yes, that's not quite crying Messi, but the Argentine ace has clearly come down with a severe case of the feels.

Croatia secured three points in a 2-0 win against Nigeria in their opening game but enter the match under a cloud.

Despite Peru's irrepressible fans making the Ekaterinburg Arena seem like it had been relocated to Lima, France were much stronger in the first half and took the lead in the 34th minute.

"Other teams (among the favourites) did not win or even lost".

Next up: Denmark will play France, and Peru will face Australia at 10 a.m. ET on Tuesday.

"We played a ideal game which is what you need against a top side", captain Modric said, before adding, "Let's not be euphoric or get ahead of ourselves".

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"We don't want to go to the last match not having resolved that".

"But we're not trying to focus on that". Individually they have quality but as a collective it doesn't work. Qualification for the knockout stages appears to be a tall order.

Morocco will also be leaving Russian Federation after the first round following their defeat to European champions Portugal, who are level with Spain on four points at the top of Group B.

"I think in years to come, we've been fortunate to watch both at the height of their powers, but in years to come I think Ronaldo will pinch it for me".

Messi has evolved as a player in a positional sense as the years have passed by at Barcelona, but this has not happened in the national team.

Before the match, Dalic said this was going to be Croatia's "easiest game". "As coaches we need to realize these things and I am the one who needs to accept that".

And former Federation Internationale de Football Association president Sepp Blatter said he believes the World Cup should return to England when Europe next gets its turn to host the tournament.

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