Messi set to lead mass retirement of Argentina stars after Russia- reports

ALL FOOTBALL– Lionel Messi is set to lead a mass exodus of Argentina stars who will retire from international football after the World Cup.

Argentina’s hopes of reaching the last 16 are in turmoil following their humiliating 3-0 defeat to Croatia on Thursday.

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Coach Jorge Sampaoli is facing a player revolt, with the squad said to be disillusioned with his style of management.

Sampaoli took Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero off against Croatia with 36 minutes remaining, despite Argentina trailing 1-0.

Argentina boss Sampaoli has taken responsibility for the 3-0 loss to Croatia on Thursday. PHOTO| AFP

Aguero said Sampaoli can “say what he wants” in the wake of the crushing defeat, amid suggestions the players want him out before Tuesday’s make-or-break final group game against Argentina.

There have also been claims – from sources close to the Argentina camp – of a number of high-profile Argentina players quitting international football after Russia, led by Messi and including Aguero, Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo, Ever Banega, Angel Di Maria, Javier Mascherano and possibly Gonzalo Higuain.