Argentina coach blames everybody but Messi after heavy Croatia defeat

Lionel Messi after Argetina lost Copa America 2016 to Chile

Argentina coach, Jorge Sampaoli, has lambasted his team after a 3-0 loss to Croatia on Thursday.

The ex-Chile manager, however, exonerated embattled skipper, Lionel Messi of any blame.

“The reality of the Argentina squad clouds Lionel Messi’s brilliance,” Sampaoli said. “The team doesn’t gel as well as it should.”

Sampaoli said his players could not find a way to get the ball to Messi, and that the introduction of Boca Juniors youngster Cristian Pavón was aimed at opening up the field a little bit.

And Sampaoli didn’t shy away from the long-discussed comparison between Messi and Portuguese star Cristiano Ronaldo.

“Cristiano is a great player and he has achieved a lot with club and country. Right now it is hard to compare these two players because of the ability of the Argentinian squad clouds the judgment.

“Leo is in a difficult position because the squad doesn’t gel with him. As a coach, I have to accept that. I don’t feel shame but I definitely feel pain. It has been a long time since I have gone through this experience as a coach and obviously, it is more painful when I’m wearing the colours of my country.”