In the latest Argentina news, former international Daniel Bartoni has played down his country’s slow start at the World Cup and feels Argentina can still go on and win the tournament.
The South American heavyweights have been underwhelming in Russia so far but they managed to edge through their group.
Argentina, who are priced at 12/1 to win the World Cup with bet365, were heavily fancied to top Group D after being drawn with Iceland, Croatia and Nigeria but they made tough work of their first three matches.
Debutants Iceland held Argentina to a 1-1 draw in their opening game before a loss to Croatia left Jorge Sampaoli’s men on the brink of a group-stage exit.
A 2-1 victory over Nigeria on Tuesday, courtesy of a late strike from Marcos Rojo, secured their passage to the last 16 but they had to settle for second spot.
France are next up for the two-time world champions at the Kazan Arena on Saturday and many feel Argentina could struggle to advance any further.
One man who feels they can go deep into the competition, though, is former World Cup winner Bartoni. And, having netted in the 1978 final, he knows exactly what it takes to recover from shaky start.
Bartoni’s Argentina lost to Italy in the group stage before qualifying second and going on to lift the nation’s first-ever world title.
“Lots of teams who went on to be champions started poorly and then recovered and moved on,” Bertoni said.
“We lost to Italy and we got up straight away.
“I have faith in the character of the Argentine player, because he brings out the fight and passion, that’s why they play in top leagues.
“So I have confidence and I hope we will be world champions.
“But we have to improve. We can’t look the other way nor believe that we’ve gone from being the worst to the best.”