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World Cup or Eurovision, Iceland keep on hoping

26 June 2018

Argentina made the World Cup final in 2014, eventually losing to Germany 1-0 after Mario Gotze's late victor. We are not here to watch him playing.

"If Croatia had been in another situation nobody would have minded so we're going to do just that: mind our own business", he added, refusing to give a hint on his starting 11 - notably whether key playmaker Luka Modric would be rested.

The star, along with his team-mates, came under heavy criticism following a shock 3-0 defeat to Croatia in the second game of the group. If Iceland win, it will be time to get the calculators out. But that did not stop Lionel Messi from celebrating his birthday.

"The important thing is the players who play tomorrow, regardless of whether they are historical players or not, will have the obligation to leave their last drop of sweat on the pitch so that Argentina can qualify".

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The South Americans were abject in their first two games in Russian Federation, drawing with Iceland and being comprehensively beaten by Croatia to leave themselves teetering on the brink.

A video filmed during the match and circulated widely on social media shows a group of men in Argentina and Croatia team colors fighting in the stands. Every player on the team has bought into that and that's how Iceland is still level with Argentina and remains alive to make it to the knockout rounds.

"We know the scenario when we play Croatia". "But there are people I have to work with on a daily basis and they are affected by these comments".

Sampaoli said he had been made to feel like a "criminal" by critics, but that there was no mutiny within the squad and he was still a coach "with enthusiasm and a clear idea what I want to achieve".

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Matias Franco told Newsmen that Musa had good statistics against his country but wished the CSKA Moskva player would not have a good day when the Super Eagles filed out against them.

And they may have been granted a reprieve, from an unlikely source.

Three finals in three years, that's not so shabby for a guy who played 50-plus other games each year for Barcelona.

If Messi felt comfortable as an off-field leader - and a postgame spokesman for the team - he would have pulled himself together, shrugged off the setback, and said something like, "We'll bounce back from this".

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Australia used a 1-1 draw against Denmark to remain in contention for a spot in the round of 16, and Peru has already been eliminated.

World Cup or Eurovision, Iceland keep on hoping