Qatar 2022: Tagliafico praises Argentina’s ‘special advantage’ Messi ahead of Croatia clash


As Lionel Messi continues to inch closer to long-awaited World Cup glory, Nicolas Tagliafico says he gives Argentina a “special advantage”.

Lionel Messi gives Argentina a “special advantage”, says Nicolas Tagliafico, as La Albiceleste prepare for their World Cup semi-final with Croatia.

Lionel Scaloni’s side are two wins away from Qatar 2022 glory after shrugging off a shock opening defeat against Saudi Arabia to reach the last four.

Captain Messi has won virtually every possible major honor apart from the World Cup and will likely add to his collection his last World Cup with his country.

Tagliafico credits the veteran forward as a driving factor for both their run and beyond, up to 90 minutes before the final, and said he was firing his teammates to greater heights.

“He’s always been like that,” he said. “For us, he’s our captain, our leader, the one who pushes us and motivates us. He’s the one who has that special edge.”

“When we’re on the pitch, we know we have Messi. We’re so happy to have him as our captain. It’s the most beautiful thing, doing it with Messi by our side.”

“We have enough experience in this World Cup to get to this stage. We know there will be some moments in the knockout stages where we will struggle.

“We have the experience. We need to have enough character to go through it all and overcome it. That motivates you even more.”

They had to be penalized to see Argentina through to their quarter-final clash with the Netherlands, which turned into a ruthless affair between both groups of players.

Scaloni’s men were accused of being poor winners after their victory, but Tagliafico defended his actions and those of his team-mates and suggested they would do the same again.

“Such situations happen in the world of football,” he added. “We are not machines. Emotions were full. It happened in previous games.

“It will probably happen again. This was a World Cup quarter-final where two teams fought. We tried to live it like that.”

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