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Sampaoli takes the blame for Argentina's loss

Argentina's boss takes the blame after 3-0 loss against Croatia

June 21, 2018 By Oscar Rojas
The former Chile tactician urged fans and experts to forgive Willy Caballero and the entire team for their baffling performance.

Well, at least someone stepped up to face the music. Argentine fans demanded answers following their team's baffling display against Croatia, and coach Jorge Sampaoli tried to blame himself for all of the team's woes.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, Sampaoli tried to rescue some of his players from criticism, especially goalkeeper Willy Caballero, who's costly mistake paved the way for Argentina's heart-breaking loss.

"I had to devise a plan for this match. If I had set things up differently, things might have turned out much better. I don't think it's realistic to put the burden on Caballero [for his mistake]," Sampaoli stated.

The coach saw in disbelief how his team fell apart after Caballero's mishap.

"I beg for the fans' forgiveness. Especially for those that make the great efforts to travel and see Argentina. I am responsible for this result. I believe I did the best job I could and I quite simply did not find a way to give them what they wanted," the coach added.

Speaking about Lionel Messi's performance, Sampaoli once again took all the blame, since he hasn't been able to find the right men to make his star shine.

"I think because of the reality of the Argentinian squad, it clouds Leo's brilliance. Leo is limited because the team doesn't gel ideally with him as it should. As coaches we need to realise these things and try to deal with them and I'm the one that needs to accept it," the coach revealed.

Messi(20) had fewer touches than Willy Caballero (22) in the first half of the game.

Before he stepped out of the room, Sampaoli vowed that his team will try to save their pride on Tuesday, when they play their last card against Nigeria.

"It's been a long time as a coach since I've been through this experience and it's much more painful when I'm wearing the jersey of my country. [In the last match] we have to fight, give it our all, and we really have no other alternative. There's pain because we weren't at the level that the Argentinian people expect of us," Sampaoli concluded.

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