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Javier Mascherano insists his teammate Lionel Messi is frustrated with Argentina’s situation but is motivated to inspire an upturn in their fortunes heading into their final group game against Nigeria at the 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia.

Argentina are on the brink of World Cup elimination after a 1-1 draw with Iceland and a 3-0 defeat by Croatia saw them take just one point from their first two matches.

Messi has struggled to replicate his club form at the competition and shouldered a lot of blame after seeing his penalty saved in La Albiceleste’s 1-1 draw against debutants Iceland.

And Mascherano admits Messi is desperate to turn things around against the Super Eagles and ensure Argentina’s campaign does not end at the group stages.

“Leo is fine,” Mascherano told a press conference. “But as a collective, where things don’t go as we’d like, we all have our own frustrations.

“He’s human and he has his own frustrations but he’s desperate to turn the situation around.

“He wants to show the world a different image to the one we’ve shown in the first two games.

“The opposite would be to harm the team, we must seek the collective benefit, we are 23, also those of the squad.

“We are not playing well and we take charge of the results. We will not be responding to things that others do.”

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