Published: Tue, June 26, 2018
Sports | By Angie Alvarado

Whos the GOAT? Ronaldo fans troll Messi after Argentina horror show

Whos the GOAT? Ronaldo fans troll Messi after Argentina horror show

While an inspirational Messi clinched qualification in the dizzying heights of Quito last October, the obvious faultlines were badly exposed in an embarrassing 3-0 loss to Croatia on Thursday that leaves the team on the brink of a World Cup exit.

Croatia, however, has already qualified as group winners.

Iceland beat Croatia while qualifying for the World Cup and finished ahead of them to top their group, something captain Aron Gunnarsson said would further boost his side's hopes even though the odds are stacked against them reaching the knockout rounds. If Iceland wins, Argentina is out and Messi's worldwide career might be over.

Russian Federation were buoyed by huge support in their first two matches, sweeping aside Saudi Arabia and Egypt, but the wheels came off against Uruguay in a chastening 3-0 defeat, in which they were reduced to 10 men.

Lovren has revealed that the reserve players have twice beaten the first team in Croatia practice matches at their training base. "There's only one option for us, (which) is that he plays his last game in St. Petersburg".

The team have been undermined by a broader crisis afflicting the Argentine game, tangled up with politics and a power struggle in the AFA (Argentine Football Association) management that broke out in 2014.

It means Argentina must beat Nigeria - they have done so four times previously at World Cups - to retain any hope of the Barcelona superstar embellishing his magnificent career with the sport's greatest prize.

Days that, Zabaleta says, do not seem too long ago.

Against Iceland Messi had a second-half penalty saved and Argentina drew the game 1-1. He also failed to score in a 3-0 loss to Croatia.

With no Copa America trophy to show, Messi's solitary worldwide accomplishment is the country's gold medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Messi nearly single-handedly led the squad to the World Cup final four years ago and consecutive Copa America finals in the following two years, but all three ended in defeat. If both Argentina and Iceland win Tuesday, Argentina must finish the group with a better goal difference, or finish with more total goals scored if the goal difference is even.

The pressure is on Iceland, but while they've made a knack of defying the odds over the past few years, we think their World cup journey could well end tonight. The entire nation has been following the squad, which is known at home as "Our Boys".

Achilles, who resides in the city's Hermitage museum, was held aloft for photographers then placed on a table in front of two bowls of food marked with Nigeria and Argentina flags.

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