Argentina’s Javier Mascherano dismisses player revolt rumours

The Argentina team’s relationship with coach Jorge Sampaoli is “totally normal”, says Javier Mascherano.

The 2014 runners-up are on the brink of an early World Cup exit in Russia after a shock 3-0 defeat by Croatia.

And although Sampaoli has since sought the opinion of his players, Mascherano dismissed reports it was a ‘revolt’.

“We talked about football to help us. The best technicians ask the players for advice too because we decide on the field,” said Mascherano, 34.

“The relationship with Sampaoli is totally normal, but if we feel uncomfortable, we will raise it. Otherwise, we would be hypocrites.

“The opposite would be to harm the team, we must seek the collective benefit – we have 23 in the squad.”Having claimed just one point from their first two group games, Argentina must beat Nigeria on Tuesday to have any chance of reaching the last 16.

“We are not playing well and we take charge of the results,” added midfielder Mascherano, the former West Ham and Liverpool player who left Barcelona for Hebei China Fortune in January.

“The coach is the one who gives us the tools to be comfortable alone on the field but you have to talk. It happens in all places, even Barca.

“He wants to know what happens to you on the field to be able to make decisions. They are basic soccer concepts.”




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