The 2018 World Cup Round of 16 kicked off on Saturday afternoon with an absolute thriller as France beat Argentina 4-3 in Kazan.
Angel di Maria gave the Argentinians hope with a stunning 41st-minute equaliser, however Kylian Mbappe ran circles around their defence, who simply couldn’t cope.
The 19-year-old won the penalty which Antoine Griezmann converted and is the first teenager to score two goals in a World Cup knockout match since Pele in 1958.
Jorge Sampaoli’s side scraped through the group stage with a late win over Nigeria, but now they’ve been eliminated, the questioning of his decisions will begin.
Neither Sergio Aguero or Gonzalo Higuain started against France, and Paulo Dybala didn’t start at all in Russia, but there’s one decision that fans simply don’t understand.
DID SAMPAOLI GET IT WRONG?
Lionel Messi managed to register a goal and two assists in what may well be the final World Cup tournament of his incredible career.
One of the arguments put forth as to why he sometimes struggles for his country is the fact that, at Barcelona, he is surrounded by better players.
However, with the exception of Ever Banega, Argentina had no creativity whatsoever from the central midfield area and several people aren’t happy with Sampaoli.
THE HUGE MISTAKE FANS THINK SAMPAOLI MADE
Football fans who followed Argentina’s World Cup campaign are in disbelief that Giovani Lo Celso didn’t play a single minute in the entire tournament.
Lo Celso established himself as regular in Paris Saint-Germain’s starting XI last season, scoring six goals and racking up 47 appearances.
The 22-year-old can operate as a deep-lying playmaker, an attacking midfielder, and crucially, has the quality to create chances from the middle of the pitch.
The PSG man impressed in the pre-World Cup friendlies but, instead, Sampaoli continually opted for the more defensive-minded Enzo Perez.
The 58-year-old manager’s decision looks even more baffling when you consider that Perez only made the squad because of an injury to West Ham’s Manuel Lanzini.
WHAT FANS ARE SAYING ABOUT LO CELSO
As you can imagine, with Argentina now out of the World Cup, fans took to Twitter to share their thoughts on Sampoli leaving Lo Celso on the bench for all four matches.
Check out the best reaction below:
Just think about this: Lo Celso played all the friendlies run up to the world cup, Enzo Perez wasn’t even selected in the original squad, and replaced an injured player, yet he played all games while Lo Celso didn’t get a minute. Where’s the logic?
— Maria (@WayTooMessi) June 30, 2018
Sampaoli is so negative with this squad. Lo Celso rotting on the bench whilst Mascherano gets every minute.
— Liam🇲🇹 (@LiamJM10TV) June 30, 2018
Well then, Argentina’s WC is over and Lo Celso hasn’t played a single minute.
— RIP XXX 🌹 (@CuleMD) June 30, 2018
Lo Celso don’t play 1 minute of this world cup….HOOWWWW????
— Deshawn Forbes (@ForbesDeshawn) June 30, 2018
Still not sure how Lo Celso didnt play a minute after he was a friendlies regular
— Mr Laudrup (@yo_jab) June 30, 2018
I wonder what Lo Celso thinks of sitting on the bench the entire World Cup while Perez and Meza played every game?
— Supreme Cryentele (@parmetheus) June 30, 2018
Sampaoli was already under pressure when he left Mauro Icardi out of the Argentina squad, and their draw to Iceland before a loss to Croatia only made things worse.
With Javier Mascherano coming towards the end of his career in China, many people think Lo Celso should’ve been given a chance to dictate the Argentine midfield.
Do YOU think Sampaoli made a massive mistake by not playing Lo Celso at all at the World Cup? What other decisions don’t you agree with? Have YOUR say in the comments box below!