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'Messi is a silent leader' - PSG superstar's 'genius' explained by ex-Argentina boss Sampaoli

8:31 AM WAT 21/09/2022
Lionel Messi Argentina 2022
Former Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli has described Lionel Messi as a "silent leader" while explaining what makes him a "genius" on the pitch.
  • Managed Messi during 2018 World Cup
  • Praised skipper's leadership qualities
  • Qatar could be Messi's last hurrah

WHAT HAPPENED? Jorge Sampaoli has the opportunity to work closely with Messi when he managed the Argentina national team at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Some reports have claimed that the pair did not always see eye to eye, but the coach still views Messi as a footballing genius.

WHAT THEY SAID: "Directing Messi is directing a genius, he is a person who is above everyone, he knows even when are you going to lose and when are you going to win? With two glances he gives you a parameter of what is happening, he is a silent leader, but he understands what is going to happen," Sampaoli told Chilean outlet ADN Deportes.

"He knows when the team that has prepared itself has no chance of winning, he knows, beyond his technical abilities and his ability to read the game, that's why he's a genius."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Argentina exited the 2018 World Cup after a 4-3 defeat to France in the round of 16, but they are among the favourites to lift the trophy in Qatar later this year. The prize has been elusive for Messi so far, and it has been suggested that the 2022 tournament will be the Paris Saint-Germain superstar's last at international level.

IN THREE PHOTOS:

WHAT NEXT FOR ARGENTINA? Lionel Scaloni's Argentina will be in action against Honduras and Jamaica in during the current international break on September 24 and 28 respectively.