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Lionel Messi and Co train as Argentina gear up for Italy clash





  • Lionel Messi trained with his Argentina team-mates on Wednesday afternoon
  • Sergio Aguero attended but played little part in the session due to his knee injury
  • Argentina are gearing up for Friday's friendly against Italy at the Etihad Stadium
  • Messi and Co are preparing for the fixture at Manchester City's training complex
  • It's the second session they have held since landing in Manchester this week

By Jordan Seward For Mailonline

Published: 13:40 EDT, 21 March 2018 | Updated: 15:47 EDT, 21 March 2018

Lionel Messi and Co trained at Manchester City's complex on Wednesday as they geared up for their friendly against Italy.

The Argentina squad touched down in Manchester on Tuesday and have now held two training sessions ahead of Friday's clash at the Etihad Stadium. 

For City forward Sergio Aguero it was familiar surroundings but he played little part in the session due to an injury.

Lionel Messi trained with his Argentina team-mates at Man City's complex on Wednesday
Lionel Messi trained with his Argentina team-mates at Man City's complex on Wednesday

Lionel Messi trained with his Argentina team-mates at Man City's complex on Wednesday

City forward Sergio Aguero (R) attended but played little part in his session due to his injury
City forward Sergio Aguero (R) attended but played little part in his session due to his injury

City forward Sergio Aguero (R) attended but played little part in his session due to his injury

Aguero sat out of the session as he did on Tuesday and watched on from the sidelines
Aguero sat out of the session as he did on Tuesday and watched on from the sidelines

Aguero sat out of the session as he did on Tuesday and watched on from the sidelines

The Argentina squad were put through their paces ahead of Friday's friendly against Italy
The Argentina squad were put through their paces ahead of Friday's friendly against Italy

The Argentina squad were put through their paces ahead of Friday's friendly against Italy

Aguero was included in Argentina's 23-man squad for their friendlies against Italy and Spain despite sustaining a knee injury earlier this month.

Argentina will first face Italy and stepped up their preparations for the fixture on Wednesday. 

Italy failed to qualify for this summer's World Cup in Russia, having lost to Sweden in a play-off, but will represent a stern test for Argentina.

The match will be Luigi Di Biagio's first in charge as Italy caretaker boss before he will lead the team out again for next Tuesday's game with England.

It is the first time this year Argentina have been able to get together ahead of the World Cup and they are taking advantage of it with boss Jorge Sampaoli running daily training sessions.

The Argentina players all joke around and chase each other during Wednesday's session
The Argentina players all joke around and chase each other during Wednesday's session

The Argentina players all joke around and chase each other during Wednesday's session

Messi spoke with his team-mate Gonzalo Higuain as the pair went through light fitness drills
Messi spoke with his team-mate Gonzalo Higuain as the pair went through light fitness drills

Messi spoke with his team-mate Gonzalo Higuain as the pair went through light fitness drills

The Argentina players also focused working on ball-related exercises during the session
The Argentina players also focused working on ball-related exercises during the session

The Argentina players also focused working on ball-related exercises during the session

Messi took to the pitch at the City Academy complex with his team-mates again for their second session on Wednesday.

Sampaoli casted a watchful eye from the side as he watched his players go through various fitness and ball-related exercises.  

The Argentina boss believes the match against Italy will help to sharpen his side before a second friendly against Spain next week.

Sampaoli said: 'Each match and training session is fundamental for us in preparation for the World Cup. Playing against Italy, in a venue as important as Etihad Stadium, is an invitation to a great event.

Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero was on show and took the training pitch with his team-mates
Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero was on show and took the training pitch with his team-mates

Chelsea keeper Willy Caballero was on show and took the training pitch with his team-mates

Another Premier League star in Nicolas Otamendi (left) was also on show 
Another Premier League star in Nicolas Otamendi (left) was also on show 

Another Premier League star in Nicolas Otamendi (left) was also on show 

Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli watched from the side and spoke with coaches as they trained
Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli watched from the side and spoke with coaches as they trained

Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli watched from the side and spoke with coaches as they trained

'Every Argentine in the world wants to be there when the National Team plays. We are certain they will accompany us for this one.' 

A host of Premier League stars were on show, including Aguero, Nicolas Otamendi and Willy Caballero.

After the game on Friday, Argentina's stars will head to Spain. Messi will train along with his team-mates at Real Madrid's training complex.

Next week's friendly will take place at Wanda Metropolitano, the home of Atletico Madrid, but the Argentine FA have opted to prepare at Los Blancos' training base. 


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