Rakitic Looking Forward To Facing Messi At World Cup

All facts you need to know as Nigeria battles Argentina at Russia 2018 World Cup

The two countries first met in 1994 World Cup.

Argentina will be the opponent for Iceland's debut as the smallest nation ever to play at a World Cup finals tournament.

Also in the group are Croatia and Iceland.

When asked about Maradona's remarks, Sampaoli said: "I hope we have the possibility during this time to train and play better".

Croatia midfielder Ivan Rakitic is relishing a World Cup showdown with Barcelona team-mates Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano.

Nigeria will face Croatia on June 17, 2018 in the first group game, they will then tackle Iceland six days later while the game against Argentina will be on June 27.

Argentina were beaten finalists when Germany triumphed at Brazil 2014, but they needed heroics from Messi, who scored a hat-trick in their final qualifier against Ecuador, to get to the finals this time around.

It starts with their opening game against Croatia.

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He added that it was another opportunity for the Super Eagles to prove to the world that their recent 4-2 win against the South American giants was not a fluke.

Rohr told BBC, "I know Germany very well and sometimes they have difficulties against African teams". They also have [Mario] Madzukic as a No. 9.

Making their sixth appearance in the showpiece competition, Nigeria are bringing their most inexperienced squad ever to Russian Federation next year. Their fans will be there and it will be like they're playing at home.

The German coach said his country's "difficulties" against African sides would likely give his Super Eagles team an edge.

We have a young team and we are going to the World Cup to go and learn. At the moment, they are one of the best teams in Europe and beat Greece 4-1 in the play-offs so we have to be prepared and ready for them.

"Since I arrived, I think we have moved up 17-18 places so we have a better Federation Internationale de Football Association ranking now".

Nigeria will take on Croatia on June 16 in Kaliningrad, before facing Iceland on June 22 in Volgograd and Argentina on June 26 in St. Petersburg.

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