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No Rift With Messi, Sampaoli Explains



Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli has denied suggestions of a rift with star player Lionel Messi ahead of a crucial World Cup qualifier at home to Venezuela.

La Albiceleste are fifth in the CONMEBOL table, outside the automatic qualification places, following a frustrating 0-0 draw in Uruguay last week.

After that game, Sampaoli offered glowing praise of Messi despite a relatively ineffective performance from the Barcelona forward, but the boss was nevertheless forced to confront claims of a strained relationship with the national team’s talisman.

“We live in a society where, when a lie is told a thousand times, it becomes the truth,” he told a news conference.

Read more at https://www.f”Messi is fully involved so that Argentina qualify for the World Cup,” he said.

“It’s difficult to remove the Messi dependency from a team when Leo is there.

“A player like [Ever] Banega, a great enabler, gives Messi the chance to move into the opponent’s area.

“The partnerships are there: Leo and Di Maria, Banega and Leo, we’re working on Leo and Dybala, Leo and Icardi.”