Ricardo Caruso Lombardi is known for being one of the most controversial coaches in Argentine football. He is currently in charge of coaching Atletico Tigre in the Argentine Premier Division. Following Argentina's fall from grace against Croatia, he gave his controversial views on Argentina’s star playmaker Lionel Messi.
He slammed Messi, saying he devoured seven national team coaches while talking to Radio La Red. He suggested that what happened was expected.
“Well what happened was expected,” he began. "With the face of Messi in the anthem we were already losing 5-0".
He then blasted the mentality of the team, suggesting that the players did not like the team selection and thus ‘instead of playing against Croatia, they played against Sampaoli.’
He also said that Messi had put in a bad performance because he wanted to do so. It had been previously suggested that Messi takes part in choosing the Argentina squad. For Lombardi, because coach Jorge Sampaoli had selected a squad that was not according to everyone’s liking, Messi put in a bad performance.
“The ten (Messi) played like this in retaliation to the coach’s squad selection.” He then said that Messi does not care about anything before also putting blame on Messi for only trying to play with his friends.
Sampaoli dropped Angel Di Maria, Lucas Biglia, Rojo and Evar Banega from the lineup in the Croatia game. Lombardi blasted the playmaker saying: He does not let himself be surrounded by the best players.
"Sampaoli did what he wanted, he took Biglia, Di Maria, Banega and Aguero saved himself because he had scored a goal.”