The Magic of Lionel Messi Shines in Argentina’s Practice Session
The anticipation grows as Argentina’s national team, known as “La Scaloneta,” continues its preparations for the upcoming World Cup qualifiers. Following their match against Uruguay at La Bombonera, Lionel Scaloni’s squad is now focused on the fifth round of the South American qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup, which will be jointly hosted by the United States, Mexico, and Canada.
Messi’s Brilliance Takes Center Stage
During the training session at Ezeiza, Lionel Messi showcased his magic with an exquisite finish that left Walter Benitez, the goalkeeper for PSV Eindhoven, helpless. The footage captured the 15-minute display of Messi’s brilliance, including a playful exchange with Rodrigo DePaul.
However, amidst the brilliance, there was also a playful moment when Messi jokingly elbowed De Paul, creating a light-hearted atmosphere during the ball exercises in tight spaces.
Upcoming Challenges for Argentina
Argentina is set to face two classic matches in the upcoming days. First, they will host Uruguay in the Río de la Plata derby at the Alberto J Armando Stadium. Then, they will travel to the iconic Maracanã Stadium in Rio de Janeiro to take on Brazil, the reigning champions of America.
Scaloni’s Squad Faces Selection Challenges
Coach Lionel Scaloni has faced some selection challenges due to various factors. Pablo Maffeo, Acuña, Guido Rodríguez, and Lucas Ocampos have all experienced delays and inconveniences. Additionally, Gonzalo Montiel and Juan Foyth have suffered injuries, leading to the inclusion of Nahuel Molina and the Spanish-born Argentinean defender.
Argentina Aims for Record-Breaking Victory
Argentina has the opportunity to claim five consecutive victories in the World Cup qualifiers, a record they previously set during the 2002 qualifiers under the guidance of Marcelo Bielsa, who now coaches Uruguay. The upcoming match against Uruguay will be crucial in their pursuit of this historic achievement.
Possible Lineup for Argentina
Scaloni is considering a lineup that includes Emiliano “Dibu” Martínez in goal, with a defensive line consisting of Nahuel Molina, Cristian “Cuti” Romero, Nicolás Otamendi, and Nicolás Tagliafico. The midfield will feature Rodrigo De Paul, Enzo Fernández, and Alexis MacAllister, while Lionel Messi will lead the attack. The remaining positions will be filled by Nicolás González or Ángel Di María on the wings and either Lautaro Martínez or the new sensation, Julián Álvarez, up front.
Argentina’s Squad for the World Cup Qualifiers
Goalkeepers: Emiliano Martínez, Franco Armani, Juan Musso, and Walter Benítez.
Defenders: Gonzalo Montiel, Pablo Maffeo, Nahuel Molina, Germán Pezzella, Cristian Romero, Lucas Martínez Quarta, Nicolás Otamendi, Marcos Acuña, Francisco Ortega, and Nicolás Tagliafico.
Midfielders: Leandro Paredes, Guido Rodríguez, Enzo Fernández, Rodrigo De Paul, Exequiel Palacios, Giovani Lo Celso, Alexis Mac Allister, and Paulo Dybala.
Forwards: Ángel Di María, Lionel Messi, Julián Álvarez, Lautaro Martínez, Nicolás González, and Lucas Ocampos.