Former PSG coach and Argentina international, Mauricio Pochettino has offered his fellow Argentines an interesting tip ahead of their World Cup final against France on Sunday.
Writing for The Athletic, where he's been covering the World Cup for the past few weeks, Pochettino discussed the key for Argentina to end up lifting the trophy come Sunday evening.
According to Pochettino, Argentina are in the final "because the players fully understand their jobs." That, he says, was not the case in past editions of the World Cup with Argentina filing to capitalize on having Lionel Messi playing for the nation since the 2006 tournament.
You might be asking yourself what are those "jobs", right? Well, Pochettino went on to write that "when you have Messi in your team, you need to run for him." That's the no. 1 job for Argentina players not named Messi to do next Sunday if they want to beat France on their way to winning their third World Cup.
"When you have the ball, you need to give it to [Messi] as soon as possible so he can create something." Pochettino surely has a very clear and sharp idea of how this team should work, and what they must do if they want to achieve greatness.
Pochettino also said that all Argentine players on the field have to "give Messi everything he needs," so La Pulga can be "decisive, as he was on Tuesday night against Croatia."
"Argentina need Messi, but Messi needs the other 10 players to fight for him in every single moment."
Those statements make actual sense considering Messi is playing arguably his best international football ever at 35 years old. That is no joke, folks.
As Pochettino is understanding this World Cup and Argentina's play, in particular, he thinks that "how [all Argentine players] believe that by playing for Messi they can win the World Cup" is what has put them in the position they are at: one of the two teams playing in the final to lift the Jules Rimet next Sunday.
"[Argentina players] are giving all they have and more, and they are doing it for Messi," wrote Pochettino. "They are giving everything because this is their dream, they are so close."
"When they have Messi, they know everything is possible."
Argentina will face the reigning World Cup champions France on Sunday in Lusail trying to win their third championship. That will be the same goal for the France internationals, which already won the 1998 and 2018 editions of the tournament and could become the first nation in the history of the World Cup to lift the trophy on back-to-back editions.