April 2, 2023
Lionel Messi celebrating after scoring the goal

Manager of Croatia, Zlatko Dalic, has revealed his game plan for today’s World Cup semi-final clash with Argentina, saying they are not going to focus on Lionel Messi alone.

The match which is scheduled to kick off at 8:00pm Nigeria time at the Lusail Stadium, Qatar, will be handled by Italian referee Daniele Orsato, the same man who officiated the opening game of Qatar 2022 where the hosts Qatar lost 0-2 to Ecuador.

Dalic acknowledges that Paris Saint-Germain talisman remains the best player at the moment.

“Messi has been the best player of the last ten years. He is still Argentina’s main player, he plays great and carries his national team.

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“We are not going to man-mark Messi on Tuesday. It is not a good idea,” he told talksport.com.

Meanwhile, Messi is giving the Albiceleste a “special advantage” according to his teammate, Nicolas Tagliafico.

Tagliafico said playing alongside the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner gives the entire team confidence too.

“For us he [Messi] is our captain, our leader. He is the one pushing us, motivating us. He is a special advantage on the pitch, we know we have Lionel Messi and it is motivation for us. We are really happy to have Messi as our captain. We are all working together to achieve our dreams and it is more special to have Messi by our side.”

Meanwhile, Messi has scored four goals so far at Qatar 2022 and should he featured today, he will equal the 25th World Cup appearance record held by Lothar Matthaus of Germany after equalling the record of Miroslav Klose in the last game against the Netherlands.

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