Messi endured a disappointing tournament, missing a penalty in the shock draw with Iceland in their opening game, with his only goal coming in the 2-1 win against Nigeria will sealed their place in the knockout stages.
The problem lies, though, in Sampaoli's reluctance to resign and a contract clause that would oblige the Argentine Football Association (AFA) to pay the 58-year-old around US$15 million (RM60.7 million) to get rid of him, reports said.
Switzerland, Sweden, Colombia and hosts Russian Federation could not have dreamed of a more realistic route to the big game.
This has been a thrilling World Cup so far, featuring drama and quality and gripping storylines on a daily basis.
Since then, the player who guided Argentina to their last World Cup win in 1986, has only coached two club sides in the United Arab Emirates.
Despite not boasting a very flashy style of play, Sabella was lauded for being able to create a system that helped Messi flourish as and display his talents as one of the best players in the game - something that was apparently missing throughout the World Cup competition in Russian Federation. His inability to score in the knock-out phase of any World Cup is a telling statistic. "They have been incredible players", Neville said.
"I was wondering whether he was riding a scooter", joked France midfielder Florian Thauvin, who is convinced his team mate will keep his feet on the ground after a world-class performance.
After scoring the first in the 2-2 draw against Morocco, Isco will look to carry his form into the Last 16 match against Russian Federation.
Russian Federation came into the tournament derided by their own supporters after a string of defeats in warmup matches but they thrashed Saudi Arabia 5-0 in their opener and then swept aside Egypt 3-1, making even their own sceptical public believe.
Portugal defender Pepe made Uruguay pay for sitting back when he leapt unmarked to head in a cross from Raphael Guerreiro after a short corner to level the match at 1-1 in the 55th minute.
This could certainly be Ronaldo's last appearence at the global soccer stage.
The Real Madrid star exited his fourth World Cup in disappointment after two goals from Edinson Cavani saw the Uruguayans advance to the last eight.
In addition to scoring goals, his hard work will inspire his teammates.