Hernan Crespo makes a very worrying point about Argentina and Lionel Messi

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The Cristiano Ronaldo v Lionel Messi rivalry has dominated the World Cup narrative so far.

As is the same during the domestic season, every football fan was anxious to see how the world's finest two players would get on in their first games and they couldn't have been more different.

Ronaldo was brilliant, scoring a hat trick in a 3-3 draw with Spain, while Messi was nowhere near his best, struggling to stamp his authority in the 1-1 draw with Iceland and missing a penalty.

Of course, both players have a minimum of two more games at the tournament and there are bound to be a lot more twists and turns.

Ronaldo's Portugal meet Morocco next, while Messi's Argentina have a much more difficult task against Croatia.

Can the little man turn it on against Luka Modric and Ivan Rakitic? He certainly has to, but Argentine legend Hernan Crespo explains why we could see Messi struggle once again in Russia.

"Messi isn't Maradona, he can't win the World Cup by himself," Crespo said. "This is something Argentinians and the rest of his teammates must understand. He is phenomenal if you put him in the right conditions, like he has at Barcelona. Any other way and he tires.

"Who helped Messi against Iceland? Di Maria didn't get away from his marker once. The central midfielders didn't help. They didn't play like a team, didn't move like a team. They were all there waiting for Messi but it isn't possible to hand all the responsibility of every action to one player."

Crespo also stated that he feels manager Jorge Sampaoli has to find a way to get the the best out of Messi, just like Barcelona do by getting him one-on-one with his marker.


"This is so Leo can make the difference. However, Argentina's matches all follow the same script: Messi against everyone and his teammates just stand watching."

Crespo then compared both Messi and Ronaldo, stating that Portugal operate differently to suit their superstar.

"Cristiano plays by himself. He runs, is physically strong, can shoot and score. Messi, to be Messi, needs a team. If you put Messi in Portugal's team, he'd be so dangerous on the counterattack. The problem with Argentina is that their rivals shut up shop, there's no space and so, it serves its purpose. That's an obstacle they need to overcome."

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Iceland Football
Croatia Football
Morocco Football
Ivan Rakitic
Portugal Football
Spain Football
Argentina Football
Real Madrid
Lionel Messi
Luka Modric
Cristiano Ronaldo

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