Cesc Fabregas has played down the contribution of Cristiano Ronaldo at the World Cup and said that Argentina's struggles are not all Lionel Messi's fault.
Writing in a column for BBC Sport, Fabregas, who was left out of Spain's squad for this summer's tournament, said that Ronaldo's four goals in two games, including a hat trick against La Roja, "have come from set-pieces, penalties or mistakes."
Fabregas also praised former Barcelona teammate Messi and bemoaned Argentina's lack of quality as they...
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia -- All around this stadium, from the VIP seats where Diego Maradona was sitting all the way to the tippy-top rows cut just beneath the roof, everyone in the building looked for the electric-green shoes. They were bright. They were bold. They were all but glowing on this cool and breezy night.
They were on the feet of Lionel Messi.
This was supposed to be a night for Messi to sparkle, to follow up what Cristiano Ronaldo did for Portugal on Wednesday and drag his Argentina...
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia -- They say it exists only in our minds, and that's fine. They should say that. They should also say that it isn't anything more than a made-up teeter-totter wobbling back and forth in the collective brains of anyone who loves soccer.
Lionel Messi? Cristiano Ronaldo? Ronaldo? Messi?
To both players, the comparison is either contrived or silly (or both). But to us, it is the meat of what makes sports fascinating, the bedrock of conversation in bars or at concession stands...
NIZHNY NOVGOROD, Russia -- Argentina's coach urged fans on Wednesday to stop blaming Lionel Messi when games do not go to script and instead appreciate all their captain has done for the national side over the years.
Messi was furious with himself for missing a penalty in the South Americans' opener against Iceland, which ended 1-1 in an inauspicious start for what may be his last chance to emulate Diego Maradona's feat of winning a World Cup for Argentina.