Messi is not a leader, he is no Ronaldo, claims Petit

Cesc Fabregas Lionel Messi

BBCLionel Messi plays with a lower quality of opponent at Argentina says Fabregas

Aside from Cristiano Ronaldo, who has all four of Portugal's goals in its two games, numerous biggest names are off to a shaky start. Brazilians suggested their opponents were too violent; Swiss midfielder Gelson Fernandes thought Neymar has another problem.

Neymar felt the effects of the Swiss strategy long after Sunday's match ended, skipping training Wednesday as he continues to recover from a foot injury he picked up before the tournament.

"Four years ago, in Brazil when Messi was playing against me, I scored two goals", said Musa, referring to the 3-2 win for Argentina over Nigeria in a group game in Porto Alegre where Messi also netted twice.

Discussing Argentina's exit, Simeone said: (via the Mirror) "Messi is very good but he is very good because he is accompanied by extraordinary players". Messi no. He doesn't run, and walks.

In an audio recording published by Spanish media outlets, the former Argentina worldwide said the current squad lacked leadership on and off the field following Thursday's 3-0 rout by Croatia in Group D. "Sometimes things happen for a reason".

"Leo is limited because the team doesn't gel ideally with him as it should", he went on to say, before adding that it was his responsibility as a coach to address this. This was a bad day, but he can decide a match at any given moment.

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And whilst Ronaldo is making the most of his chances, the Chelsea midfielder claimed Messi is struggling to match his output due to having the weight of Argentina's hopes on his shoulders as he weighed in on the debate surrounding the two greatest players now in the game.

But the Super Eagles' World Cup hero has warned that his new-found hero status in South America will be short-lived.

"Tomorrow we must play a match with our hearts and our heads".

The Real Madrid star has stolen the early headlines in Russian Federation with four goals in his opening two games, including a hat-trick against Spain.

It ensured Nigeria, with three points, went second in Group D, behind Croatia who have already qualified after successive victories, but ahead of Argentina and Iceland, both on one.

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