Mascherano: Messi is desperate to help Argentina

Argentina midfielder Javier Mascherano says teammate Lionel Messi is desperate to help the Albiceleste bounce back against Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup.

Jorge Sampaoli’s charges are on the verge of being knocked out at the group stage of the global showpiece, after drawing 1-1 with Iceland and losing 3-0 to Croatia. They will need a win over Nigeria on Tuesday to stand a chance of progressing into the last-16.

Messi has endured a difficult time in Russia thus far. The Barcelona superstar has not provided an assist or scored a goal, and missed a penalty against Iceland that could have secured victory for the South Americans.

The five-time Ballon d’Or winner is clearly struggling to find form at the tournament, but Mascherano says Messi is as motivated as ever to perform.

“Leo is fine,” Mascherano told a news conference.

“But as a collective, where things don’t go as we’d like, we all have our own frustrations.

“He’s human and he has his own frustrations but he’s desperate to turn the situation around.

“He wants to show the world a different image to the one we’ve shown in the first two games.”