Monday 17 December 2018

'He should be ashamed' - Emmanuel Petit with some choice words for Argentina and Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi and Argentina were hammered 3-0 by Croatia on Thursday (Petr David Josek/AP)
Lionel Messi and Argentina were hammered 3-0 by Croatia on Thursday (Petr David Josek/AP)

Mícheál Ó Scannáil

Emmanuel Petit has lashed into Argentina's World Cup flops and suggested he has little sympathy with their star man Lionel Messi as he appears to be cracking under the pressure of what may be his last chance to win the greatest prize in the sport.

Petit, who was part of the French World Cup winning side of 1998, berated Argentina for their start to their campaign in Russia, with their 3-0 defeat against Croatia on Thursday backing up a 1-1 draw against Iceland in their opening game.

Despite Nigeria giving them a knockout stage lifeline with their 2-0 defeat of Iceland, Paddy Power ambassador Petit said that he is disappointed with Argentina so far.

"Argentina look sh**," he said. "It was shameful to watch them. The whole team’s body language was so poor, no confidence, no trust between each other. It would be a shame to see them qualify, because against Iceland they looked terrible, with no inspiration, nothing at all.

"You remember so many Argentina teams with great players in the past, but this team is so far from those. I'm not that surprised though. I've been saying it since before the World Cup, there was no chance they would win it because of that defence. They look terrible."

Nigeria’s result against Iceland means that Argentina now sit in third position in Group D. For them to advance in the competition they have to beat Nigeria in their final group game, and if Iceland beat Croatia, Argentina have to win by more.

The Argentinian side have been heavily criticised for their dependance on Lionel Messi who is yet to score in this year’s World Cup. In the never-ending superioritry debate between Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, Petit thinks the Portuguese superstar takes it for his leadership ability.

Portugal are in a good shape to reach the knockout stages after Ronaldo’s four goals gave them a draw and an win in their opening two games and Petit said that if Argentina are to join them, Messi needs to "wake up".

"To see Messi walking with his head down, he should be ashamed," Petit said.

"I don't feel sorry for him, either. I think Messi should wake up a bit more, because when things don't go well for him, he's always down on the pitch, he shows no reaction.

"He's not a leader. He's no Ronaldo in that regard. Messi is one of the best players ever, but he needs to show that mentality.

"He needs to wake up! When things go well with Barcelona he's a terrific player. We've seen it in the Champions League though, when things don't go well, he can disappear on the pitch. He's not there anymore. He's not running, he's walking. He's not concerned about the ball. Come on."

Emmanuel Petit is a Paddy Power ambassador. For more see

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