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As much as some of those aforementioned unlucky sides might have deserved to stay in the tournament, their undoing has in some cases been a moment of genius or inspiration from a key opponent.
Lionel Messi and his Argentina team haven't been anywhere near their peak, yet Messi continues to drag the South American side through the tournament, inching his way toward a final the masses tell him he must win to be truly considered one of the greats.
Swiss boss Ottmar Hitzfeld acknowledged Messi's innate ability, as per Marca:
Switzerland's coach, Ottmar Hitzfeld, commented that Messi has the ability to "decide a game in a second", but went on to say that the Swiss side "made life difficult" for Argentina.
"It was a tough game, but we made their life difficult. They managed to stay calm. Argentina has a good team", he told the press after the match played in Sao Paulo.
Although Switzerland marked the Barcelona striker closely, Hitzfeld stressed that Argentina "is not just Messi", and acknowledged the efforts of Lavezzi, Mascherano and Di María.
So far, he's doing it all alone for Argentina.
Alexis Sanchez, James Rodriguez and Arjen Robben are others who simply keep doing what they do for their nations, scoring goals and keeping them in games. Three of those four remain in the World Cup.