Argentina take on Belgium in the World Cup quarter-final, but Alejandro Sabella warns “we haven’t reached top gear yet.”
L’Albiceleste have stuttered throughout the group phase and the Round of 16, but relied on last-gasp goals from Leo Messi to push through.
“Four years ago Messi was criticised for not contributing enough, and now people say we depend too greatly upon him,” said Sabella in his Press conference.
“It’s not easy. Any team who has a player like Messi in their ranks – he’s the best player in the world – will greatly depend upon him, as a player.
“But there’s a group of players who support Messi, who make him stronger and make him feel well. I believe that the fact he’s done what he has here is down to the work the team puts in.”
Argentina will need to raise their game against Belgium, one of the dark horses for this tournament.
“I have the line-up in my mind, but I haven’t told the players yet,” continued Sabella.
“We haven’t played a great World Cup yet, as so far we haven’t played the kind of football that we wanted and could’ve done.
“We have not reached top gear yet, despite notching up nine points in the group, as we won with very tight results.
“Belgium are very strong, they have a great generation making their mark in this tournament and we need to be wary, as they have excellent individuals.”
Sergio Aguero has been out of action with a hamstring injury, but Sabella confirmed he could “be on the bench tomorrow.”