Umtiti reveals difference between Messi at Barcelona, Argentina

Neymar Ronaldo Messi

Sampaoli's side scraped through to the last 16 after they beat Nigeria in the group stage and face a hard task against France, even if they haven't yet hit form themselves.

Flo also thinks Ronaldo has the mental strength to help push Portugal into the quarter-finals at the expense of Uruguay's golden boys Luis Suarez and Edinson Cavani.

Many jokes poured in on social media regarding Argentina's unavoidable "pleasure" of looking at the winking Ronaldo from their hotel windows.

In another game on Saturday, Uruguay will take on a high-flying Portugal which is being led by Cristiano Ronaldo, who has scored 4 goals in 3 matches so far.

Instead, it's been suggested he will bring in Cristian Pavon to start the game and play Barcelona star at a false nine, giving him complete freedom of movement in attack.

The 1998 champions won 4-3 and looked a totally different side from the one that struggled to find their cutting edge in the group stage, pouring forward with pace and objective to stretch the ageing Argentine defence in Kazan.

"We'll play with a knife between our teeth", he said.

This year's Argentina team has shown signs of dysfunction and an outsize dependence on Messi, who even appeared to be giving embattled Coach Jorge Sampaoli advice about in-game substitutions.

Argentina battled into the last 16 in Russian Federation, needing a dramatic 2-1 win over Nigeria to clinch second spot in Group D with their first victory of the tournament.

Despite storming through the group stage, France's first choice keeper and team captain Hugo Lloris says his team will not be taking their opponents or their superstar lightly.

Maradona, who himself coached the same crop of players in the 2014 World Cup, said, "I don't believe that's possible".

Sampaoli said his team would summon more aggression against France, one of the favourites to win the tournament in Russian Federation.

The mural, meanwhile, was painted on a building right next to Argentina's hotel for the Confederations Cup previous year as welcome for Portugal. There is not a single player that can contain him there.

Five-time world player of the year Messi underlined his importance to Argentina with a sublimely taken opening goal against Nigeria but that came after his penalty miss against Iceland in a lacklustre 1-1 draw that set the tone for a disappointing campaign so far. "They are among the very best contenders and we will need to be very consistent to come out on top of a very hard match".

"We have complete faith in our abilities", said Sampaoli. We knew what we wanted to do.

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