Buenos Aires: Argentines are hopeful that they will come out ahead in their round of 16 matches against France while recognizing that Les Bleus have a stronger team.
Argentina's win against Nigeria on Tuesday revived the World Cup fever in this South American nation, as every major newspaper dedicated their front page to the match.
The headline of Diario Popular was "Blood, sweat and tears," while Clarin wrote on its front page "Argentina had heart and Messi and is now ready to go up against France."
Agustin Schmukler, an Argentine fan who "suffered" while watching Tuesday's match, told EFE on Wednesday that the national team "is not good, although it showed courage, guts, things that it had kept hidden, and with a little luck and the help of Messi we managed to pass."
"This was the first match in this World Cup that we deserved to win. We played better, we had clear chances, we handled the ball correctly, and Nigeria tied in a very strange, unfortunate move," Schmukler said.
Gustavo Demcszyn, an Argentine soccer fan who will travel to Russia next week to support the national team, told EFE that Argentina's players are "motivated by their victory" ahead of Saturday's match against France and enthusiastic that "Messi played really well during the first half."
"However, I think that France has a slightly better team than Argentina ... We will face a very strong team, with high-level players," Demcszyn said.
Both Demcszyn and Schmukler recognized that France had a better team, although they were still hopeful that Argentina could reach the quarterfinals.