The two-time World Cup victor sent out words of encouragement for the man in search of his first silverware with the national side ahead of their do-or-die encounter with the Super Eagles.
"For the good of Argentina, I am sure Lionel Messi will be touching the ball a lot more than in our previous match".
Croatia wins the group with a win or draw vs. Iceland, and they'll also win the group if Nigeria fails to win.
However, bouncing back will take a huge improvement in performance and strength of character so far unseen from the two-time world champions in Russian Federation.
According to the Argentinian media, the coach and players have been at odds over Sampaoli's constant changes in strategy and personnel. "I know it'll be a war against me", said Queiroz, who coached his native Portugal at the 2010 finals in South Africa.
"I don't care what other teams are saying".
For all his heroics with Barcelona at club level, Messi is still often compared unfavourably in his homeland for his inability to recreate Maradona's success for the national team.
Going into yesterday's final round of matches, a grand total of 60 players had registered themselves on the World Cup score sheet of this World Cup.
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And his 31st birthday on Sunday only served to highlight how time is running out for Messi to win a major global tournament.
Messi salvaged a disastrous campaign under three different managers with a hat-trick away to Ecuador in the Albiceleste's final qualifier. However, in all likeliness they will finish first given that they not only need to lose to Iceland, but Nigeria have to beat Argentina, and then there's the small matter of a five goal swing.
Held to a draw by tiny Iceland - with Messi missing a penalty - and humbled by Croatia, Jorge Sampaoli's men could already be packing their bags.
"But as a collective, where things don't go as we'd like, we all have our own frustrations".
With Messi struggling, the rumors and reports of Argentina's internal dysfunction have hit a fever pitch.
But his cabinet of worldwide honours is awash with silver medals of Copa America and World Cup.
"It is the most critical situation I have experienced, along with the Ecuador game", said Argentina midfielder Lucas Biglia on Sunday. "He turned 31 on Sunday so he is getting older and sometimes, mentally, you can feel exhausted as well", Zabaleta wrote in his BBC Sport column. Argentina are clinging to the hope their captain bails them out again.