FIFA World Cup 2018: Messi steals spotlight as Argentina train in Bronnitsy

13 June 2018, 11:02 AM
The chants of 'Messi, Messi' erupted as the Barcelona forward walked to the pitch for an hour-long practice
The chants of 'Messi, Messi' erupted as the Barcelona forward walked to the pitch for an hour-long practice

Argentina's FIFA World Cup base camp was heavily crowded by around 400 eager fans to catch a glimpse of Lionel Messi and the star-studded Argentine squad at an open training session. 

The chants of 'Messi, Messi' erupted as the Barcelona forward walked to the pitch for an hour-long practice, with the Argentine skipper stealing the spotlight. 

Ernesto Lagorio, the Argentine ambassador to Russia was a witness to the training centre, used by several Russian sports teams, on the banks of the River Moscow.

"We came to see our national team, it's the first acquaintance with them, it's been great," Lagorio told a leading news agency.

"We've already been to Bronnitsy several times, we've worked a lot with the authorities and the mayor. He's helped us a lot, it's been in the works for several months."

Asked whether he would be attending matches, he replied, "I hope to show up until the final match in July."

After several days of chilly temperatures in Moscow, the sun was bright during the training session, with excited locals packing the stands to get a glimpse of the action.

Injury had already struck Argentina on the eve of their departure for the tournament, with West Ham midfielder Manuel Lanzini ruled out of the mega event after suffering a serious knee injury. Even the status of Ever Banega for Argentina's first group game against Iceland on June 16 is under dark clouds after the Sevilla midfielder trained alone.

The Messi masks were spotted in the crowd, with others waving Barcelona and Argentina flags to support Messi and co. 

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner was then mobbed by numerous youngsteres at the end of the session as players stopped to sign autographs and take selfies with the fans.

First Published: Tuesday, June 12, 2018 03:25 PM
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