Former Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli called Lionel Messi a “quiet leader” while discussing what makes him a “genius” on the field.

When Jorge Sampaoli manages Argentina’s national squad in the 2018 World Cup in Russia, he will have the opportunity to work closely with Messi. According to some accounts, the pair did not always agree, but the coach still regards Messi as a footballing genius.

“Directing Messi is directing a genius, he is a person who is above everyone, he knows even when are you going to lose and when are you going to win? With two glances he gives you a parameter of what is happening, he is a silent leader, but he understands what is going to happen,” Sampaoli told Chilean outlet ADN Deportes.

“He knows when the team that has prepared itself has no chance of winning, he knows, beyond his technical abilities and his ability to read the game, that’s why he’s a genius.”

Argentina departed the 2018 World Cup after a 4-3 round-of-16 loss to France, but they are among the favourites to win the championship in Qatar later this year.

So far, the prize has eluded Messi, and it has been predicted that the 2022 tournament will be the PSG superstar’s final at the international level.

Argentina, under by Lionel Scaloni, will face Honduras and Jamaica during the current international break on September 24 and 28, respectively.

Former PSG Goalkeeper not surprised by Messi

Lionel Messi and Paris Saint-Germain are off to a great start in the 2022-23 season. The 35-year-old is primarily a playmaker, although his goal total is rising.

During the 2021-22 football season, the Argentine struggled to consistently find the back of the goal, but that has changed this year. During Monday’s episode of “L’ÉQUIPE de Greg,” former PSG goalkeeper Jérôme Alonzo illustrated the night and day difference.

“Me, it is not this Messi that surprises me, but that of last year. There I find it in its place, at his own pace, at his age where his game evolves.

“Against Lyon, it was obviously not a good 90 minutes. The flashes of genius are punctual, by sequence. Of course, we enjoy ourselves, and the front three are essential.

“But it’s not the Messi that surprises me; it’s the one from last season. Even in a flash, he turns you a match in Ligue 1.”