Argentina press conference by Ever BANEGA and Jorge SAMPAOLI

Denmark play France in the final round of group matches. AFP

The coach said France's characteristics of quick ball recovery and pace on the break through Antoine Griezmann and Olivier Giroud would make them particularly risky if Argentina were unable to dominate possession. Indeed, Argentinian journalist Fernando Niembro has even accused the captain of taking over squad selection duties from Sampaoli.

Argentina and Lionel Messi made it into the knockout stage of the World Cup by the skin of their teeth on Tuesday after an 86th minute strike from defender Marcos Rojo gave them a barely deserved 2-1 win over Nigeria, eliminating the African side.

"After the first game [against Iceland] I gave you a good luck amulet that my wife gave me, I don't know if you threw it away or something", the reporter asked following Argentina's win over Nigeria.

Despite the criticism of Argentina, Sampaoli's side moved into a last-16 clash with France Saturday.

Messi will doubtless continue to wear the ribbon for the rest of this World Cup and if Argentina go all the way to the final, they may have Mrs Pantorotto to thank.

His catalogue of misfortunes include being run over by his own vehicle while his misbehaviour, ranging from drink-driving to getting sent off for abusing a referee, may have been a factor behind his omission from the World Cup squad four years ago.

As we approach the knock out stage at this year's World Cup, six prominent all-time records have been broken in Russian Federation, among which is the most penalties awarded in a single edition, with last night's kick by Moses taking the figure to 23.

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"They are a very complete team".

An over joyed reporter said, 'no way, no way did you score with this foot?'

Further up the field, Luka Modric was incredible for Croatia, most notably in their emphatic 3-0 win over Argentina.

The Barcelona star will come face-to-face with club team-mates Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele and is aware of the improvement needed to make the last eight.

"Leo came up to us and told us to calm down and not be stressed", he said when discussing what his skipper had said in the tunnel.

"I was simply communicating this, saying we were going to use a strategy we had rehearsed to use more attacking players".

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