If this was the Champions League instead of the World Cup, we’d say this could very well be a defining day in Paulo Dybala’s Juventus career. But, because we’re on the international level and not wearing bianconero, there’s another Argentinian striker that wears the No. 10 eight or nine months out of the year who has all the pressure of his home nation resting on his shoulders.
It’s not Dybala, but somebody else whose first and last name combine to make five syllables. It’s not PAU-LO DY-BA-LA. Rather, it’s LI-O-NEL MES-SI.
Today's #WorldCup games -- Lionel Messi's international career could end if #ARG loses to #NGA @JennaFryer https://t.co/RpYGjn0s9e— AP Sports (@AP_Sports) June 26, 2018
As much as there are two other games involving Juventus players — and those players are already ensured that they will be playing in the knockout rounds — this day will be dominated by talk of Messi regardless of Argentina’s result.
The narrative(s) is (are) already set up for full engagement, my friends.
If Argentina somehow advance to the Round of 16, it will be Messi’s latest miracle.
If Argentina goes three and out, get used to hearing even more about Messi’s legacy and what not making it out of the group stage means for his career.
This is Messi Day — for better or for worse.
I personally liked Bentancur Day a little better. Or maybe, no matter how Argentina does, this turns into Dybala Day and we’re throwing up Dybala Masks right and left no matter where we’re watching Argentina’s group stage final against Nigeria. (Sorry, Chuks.)
But I’m going to guess we’ll be forced to hear about Messi and only Messi. That’s just something we’re going to have to deal with — and that’s even with Mario Mandzukic’s grumpy self playing for an ever-impressive Croatia side that has arguably been one of the best teams at the World Cup so far.
Group C — Australia vs. Peru: 10 a.m. Eastern Time, 7 a.m. Pacific (NBC link here)
Group C — Denmark vs. France: 10 a.m. Eastern Time, 7 a.m. Pacific (NBC link here)
Group D — Iceland vs. Croatia: 2 p.m. Eastern Time, 11 a.m. Pacific (NBC link here)
Group D — Nigeria vs. Argentina: 2 p.m. Eastern Time, 11 a.m. Pacific (NBC link here)
HOW TO WATCH
Television: Australia-Peru and Iceland-Croatia will be shown on Fox Sports 1; Denmark-France and Nigeria-Argentina will both be shown on FOX (United States); TSN4, TSN5 (Canada); UTV, STV Scotland, ITV1 UK (United Kingdom)
Online/mobile: Telemundo Deportes En Vivo (links above); Fox Sports Go (United States); TSN GO, RDS GO (Canada); The ITV Hub (United Kingdom)
Note: This post will be updated daily as the main World Cup viewing and off-topic thread here at BWRAO. Stay tuned to BWRAO for posts regarding Juventus’ representation in Russia as well as any transfer-related happenings that take place before, during or after the day’s schedule comes and goes.