Former Argentina striker Hernan Crespo has claimed that Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is behind Jorge Sampaoli’s likely decision not to call Mauro Icardi up for this summer’s FIFA World Cup in Russia.
Icardi has scored 27 goals in the Italian Serie A this season for Inter Milan but remains behind Serio Aguero, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala in the pecking order, according to Jorge Sampaoli.
Former Inter and Chelsea striker Crespo, 45, who scored 35 goals in 64 Argentina matches, however believes that leaving Icardi out from the La Albiceleste World Cup squad will be the greatest mistake Sampaoli will be making.
“It seems to me that Icardi is not one of Messi’s friends,” Crespo told La Gazzetta dello Sport.
“The national team is now made up of a magic circle, do you understand me? Icardi is not part of the circle and therefore, unfortunately, he will not go to the World Cup in Russia.
“This is my opinion. The team needs a striker like him, but Sampaoli and Messi think otherwise.”