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Sampaoli gives Messi chances to choose striker

Argentina's coach will leave crucial decision up to Messi

March 26, 2018 By Oscar Rojas
The Argentine boss will trust his brightest star to put up the best possible squad for the 2018 World Cup.

Argentina's National Team hasn't been able to win a major tournament in nearly 25 years, even with arguably the best player of all time in their lineup. In order to give Lionel Messi a fighting chance to win a World Cup, coach Jorge Sampaoli is willing to give away his right to choose La Albiceleste's strikers in order to give Messi complete freedom to choose those who will try to end Argentina's drought.

In an excerpt extracted from Sampaoli's book, "My heartbeats: Thoughts on the game's culture", the former Chile boss revealed that it will be Messi who chooses the team's frontline for the 2018 World Cup matches, especially because he wants Barcelona's ace to feel comfortable on the pitch.

"Messi's 'partners' up front will be chosen by Messi. He will make that call, because he's the one that plays all the games. He will choose the player that adapts best to his playing style, because he's the one that knows exactly what he needs from a team-mate, " Sampaoli wrote.

Gonzalo Higuaín has been used by Argentina during their three most recent finals, which have ended in disappointment for La Albiceleste. This time, his spot in the starting lineup could be taken by Sergio Aguero or Paulo, a player that has a great relationship with "La Pulga"

Other players such as Mauro Icardi or Lucas Pratto have a slim chance of becoming Argentina's top choice strikers, because their style of play is similar to Higuain's. Furthermore, Icardi's relationship with Messi is rough, to say the least, which makes it more complicated for him to earn a spot in the team's lineup.

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