Manchester United defender Marcos Rojo hailed the influence of Leo Messi on Argentina’s World Cup victory over Nigeria.
Television viewers spotted Barcelona star Messi speaking to his teammates in the tunnel as they were about to emerge for the second half, with Argentina 1-0 up thanks to his goal.
Nigeria’s Victor Moses equalised from the penalty spot, only for Rojo to pop up with the winning goal just four minutes from time, sending Argentina through when they had been on the brink of going out.
“Messi 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.
“We felt nervous and that message helped us a lot and gave me personally a huge confidence boost.
“Messi is our captain and he’s the best captain in the world, it was amazing to score that goal.
“Messi told everyone that it was either life or death. It could’ve gone badly. We could’ve conceded but Leo was stubborn.
“He told me to run forward. Even [Javier] Mascherano. He told everyone to attack no matter what. He truly read the game and risks. He’s a leader. The best.”