Following Argentina’s woeful 3-0 defeat to Croatia, they had one foot out of the World Cup exit door.
After that game, Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano called a meeting with Jorge Sampaoli and the rest of his staff.
That is according to Argentine journalist Ariel Senosiain of TyC Sports and Ole columnist, who makes the revelation in his book Mundial es Historias.
The situation was critical and the players wanted to see the coach so they called Sampaoli to an urgent meeting with two of his assistants, Sebastian Beccacece and Lionel Scaloni.
The purpose of the meeting was clear, to make him see that the squad no longer trusted him.
“We don’t get what you say, we don’t trust you anymore and we want to have an opinion,” was their argument.
Sampaoli was surprised by that and responded by asking what it was they wanted an opinion on, to which the players replied ‘on everything’.
Messi took to the floor and was also unhappy with Sampaoli asking him who he should bring on, a moment which was picked up by cameras .
“You asked me 10 times which players you wanted me to see on and which ones I didn’t and I never gave you a name,” he said.
AFA president Claudio Tapia witnessed the unusual situation and was already aware of what the players were going to say to the coach and told Sampaoli that he had to give in to them.
The meeting calmed down after a lively start but things never boiled over and the consensus was reached that the coach should listen to the players and not get upset.
One of his assistants, Beccacece, wanted to resign but he was prevented from doing so by Sampaoli.