Argentina defender Federico Fazio believes Lionel Messi and his team showed a different attitude in its win over Nigeria.

Messi opened the scoring and Marcos Rojo struck a late winner in a 2-1 victory for Jorge Sampaoli's side, who snuck into the last 16 at the World Cup.

Fazio said it was a change in mindset that was crucial for Argentina, that faces France in the last 16 Saturday.

"I think we showed a different attitude towards the last game, not just from him [Messi] but from all the team, all the players," he told a news conference.

"I think we played well against Croatia [in a 3-0 loss] after all, but in this third game, I think their first goal did hurt us, but we all knew from the beginning all that was at stake and what would have happened if we lost.

"We saw a committed team, fighting together with a different attitude, and that was something which helped Leo too."

After struggling through the group stage, Argentina will go into its meeting with France in Kazan as outsiders.