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Messi is frustrated and desperate – Mascherano logo 25-06-2018 Dejan Kalinic

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Lionel Messi is frustrated and desperate to turn Argentina’s World Cup around, according to Javier Mascherano.

Jorge Sampaoli’s men are facing a group-stage exit in Russia after collecting just one point from their opening two games.

Complete coverage: FIFA World Cup 2018

Messi, 31, is yet to score or provide an assist at the showpiece event, while he had a penalty saved during a 1-1 draw with Iceland.

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The star, along with his team-mates, came under heavy criticism following a shock 3-0 defeat to Croatia in the second game of the group.

Mascherano, whose team must beat Nigeria on Tuesday to have any chance of reaching the last 16, said the star forward was only human.

“Leo is fine,” he told a news conference.

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“But as a collective, where things don’t go as we’d like, we all have our own frustrations.

“He’s human and he has his own frustrations but he’s desperate to turn the situation around.

“He wants to show the world a different image to the one we’ve shown in the first two games.”

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Even a win may not be enough for Argentina, who are bottom of the group – behind Croatia (six points), Nigeria (three) and Iceland (one).

Victories by both Argentina and Iceland would mean the second spot in Group D would come down to goal difference, which Argentina currently trail by one.

Rumours of a player revolt against Sampaoli spread after the disastrous defeat to Croatia, but Mascherano himself has rebutted those claims.

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(Video by TIME)

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