Nigeria not in Argentina class, says Ardiles

Argentinean World Cup legend Osvaldo Ardiles has tipped Argentina and Croatia to progress into the next stage from Group which also has Nigeria and Iceland. The former Tottenham Spurs coach has based his calculation on his belief that Super Eagles and Iceland are not operating at the same level with the two teams he has tipped.

Ardiles was a member of the 1978 Argentina team that won the World Cup.

Ardiles is sure that Argentina and Croatia have more of world class players in their squads compared to the Eagles and Iceland. Nigeria has Victor Moses of Chelsea and Alex Iwobi of Arsenal as the biggest club stars in the rank with their teammates in lesser clubs. Comparatively the Argentineans have Lionel Messi; Goalkeeper: Sergio Romero (Manchester United); Defenders: Javier Mascherano (FC Barcelona), Nicolas Otamendi (Manchester City), Federico Fazio (Roma), Gabriel Mercado (Sevilla), German Pezzella (Fiorentina), Emiliano Insua (Stuttgart); Midfielders: Ever Banega (Sevilla), Eduardo Salvio (Benfica); Forwards: Sergio Aguero (Manchester City), Mauro Icardi (Inter Milan), Angel Di Maria (Paris Saint-Germain), Paulo Dybala (Juventus).

But interestingly the stars were all available except for Messi when Nigeria mauled them 4-2 in Russia. On Tuesday they were disgraced 6-1 by Spain.

Osvaldo Ardiles told Sportske Novosti, “In one I’m sure, Croatia and Argentina go further in the group. Everything else would be a big surprise, though.

“When you see the names, then it is clear that Nigeria and Iceland cannot be on that level. With the condition that Croatia and Argentina are well placed, they are team-level at the level of their individual quality.”