Two-time World Cup winners and 2014 finalists Argentina, with the best player in the world in Lionel Messi, is in serious danger of not advancing to the knockout stage with its final match of Group D against Nigeria on Tuesday.
Argentina currently sits in last place on goal difference in a group that has been all but clinched by Croatia, who thumped Argentina 3-0 last week. With one point and a minus-3 goal differential, Argentina will have to leap over Nigeria and Iceland in the group standings to make it out alive.
Failure to do so would make it the first time since 2002 that it failed to advance out of the opening stage of the World Cup Finals.
Messi and Co. will be facing a high-flying Nigeria squad which took down tournament darlings Iceland 2-0 behind a brace from Ahmed Musa. Should the Super Eagles secure a point and Iceland fail to win, they will move on to the Round of 16 for the fourth time in six World Cup appearances.
An onslaught of pressure likely awaits Nigeria though as Messi’s legacy is on the line. While he is considered one of the best in the world, the argument of placing him among the greats like Pele and Diego Maradona would be difficult to do given his lack of success on the international stage.
If history suggests anything, it’s that Nigeria will be in for a difficult afternoon. The Super Eagles have failed to defeat South American opposition at the World Cup and have lost three times to Argentina on the grandest stage in soccer.
Here is how you can catch all the action:
Nigeria v. Argentina viewing information
Date: Tuesday, Jun. 26
Time: 2 p.m. ET