Fabregas demeans Ronaldo's World Cup performance

Cesc Fabregas has played down the contribution of Cristiano Ronaldo at the World Cup and said that Argentina's struggles are not all Lionel Messi's fault. The team is lost, poor, it's unstable. but it's Argentina and I think they'll go through. Aguero, who is Messi's roommate at the training base, responded: "Sampaoli can say what he wants".

It's as if the two five Ballon d'Or winners have experienced a role reversal from the 2014 World Cup, where Messi was the Player of the Tournament, scoring four goals and dragging his country to a final that they really should have won.

The two-time world champions must beat Nigeria in Saint Petersburg on Tuesday if they are to avoid a premature exit following a disastrous 3-0 defeat by Croatia.

"You remember so many Argentina teams with great players in the past, but this team is so far from those".

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"What is happening now, it's what unfortunately has happened to the national team in the last four years", Simeone allegedly said.

"There are no small teams or bad players in a World Cup, but the road is still long, we have to fight and be very strong".

The Argentina federation were even moved on Saturday to confirm that Sampaoli would continue for the final group game among rumours of a rift between players and coach.

"Whether we like it or not, we are the World Cup runners-up and at some point we have to prove it", he said.

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Meanwhile, midfielder Lucas Biglia acknowledged Argentina's future rests on more than the Nigeria result.

Simeone said: "The goalkeeper has done this before hasn't he German, he did it against Spain, against Italy when they hit the post, and if you slip up like that in a World Cup, it's a goal".

Though Ronaldo's victor against Morocco took him to 85 goals and made him the highest-scoring European in the history of global football, it would seem Fabregas has not been entirely convinced by the forward's recent contribution to matches.

The 1986 World Cup victor described himself as "furious and upset" and lashed out at the Argentina Football Association President Claudio Tapia as the "guilty party" after Thursday's result.

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