Argentina's chances hang by a thread and unless Messi's own performances improve, he will likely retire from the worldwide stage without being a world champion given that he will be 35 when the next World Cup comes around in four years.
Croatia will play Iceland on Tuesday at the Rostov Arena, while Nigeria and Argentina will lock horns in Saint Petersburg.
Unlike for the opening draw against Iceland and the loss to Croatia, however, Sampaoli decided against revealing his hand 24 hours before kick-off, claiming he had yet to inform the players of his team but that it is "in his head".
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Fifa World Cup 2018 is getting more excited with each passing day.
All eyes will be on Lionel Messi as Argentina's last group game against Nigeria will decide their future in Russian Federation 2018.
The experienced Ever Banega and Angel Di Maria will start - after sitting out the Croatia game - offering the side the much-needed creativity, width and space.
"He is one of the big names in Russian Federation who has made a strong start to this World Cup, in terms of goals, with four so far".
Besides Spain, Portugal, Russia and Uruguay the other teams already assured last 16 status before their final round of group matches are France, Croatia, England and Belgium. "I know that if you go into a game and you don't really enjoy it then it is very hard to play well". He switched formations - to a shape that didn't suit Lionel Messi - and his personnel.
"I would love of course to swap jerseys with him but I would love to swap jerseys with many players in the Argentinean side".