December 7, 2013
National teamWednesday, September 4, 2013
Only light training for Messi, who supports Madrid 2020
Argentine team captain Lionel Messi did only light training at the Ezeiza training camp yesterday and then went to rest to be sure of being fit for next Tuesday’s World Cup qualifying match against Paraguay.
The doubt national team coach Alejandro Sabella has for the match is whether defender Marcos Rojo will be fit. He has a shoulder injury which will be evaluated over the next three days, but it is doubtful whether he will be able to play.
Eleven other national team players, including newcomer Erik Lamela, did tactical training in reduced spaces. The rest were working in the gymnasium, except Angel Di Maria who, for personal reasons, received permission not to come to Ezeiza yesterday,
As for next Tuesday’s team, which will not be at full strength for various reasons, it was already known that Sabella will be without central backs Federico Fernández and Ezequiel Garay and their probable replacements are probably Fabricio Coloccini and Hugo Campagnaro. In the probable absence of Rojo, only one of the usual 4-men defence would be available. Midfielder Javier Mascherano is also suspended.
In attack, Rodrigo Palacio is the probable replacement for suspended Gonzalo Higuaín, to form a 3-men attack with Messi and Sergio Agüero.
MESSI SUPPORTS MADRID. Leonel Messi left aside the historical rivalry between his team, Barcelona and Real Madrid, and wore the T-shirt with the incription “Madrid 2020” when the Spanish delegation here for the International Olympic Committe meeting in Buenos Aires to trty an convince the IOC to pick Madrid to host the 2020 Games, were received by him at the Ezeiza training camp of the Argentien national team.
“I think it’s good for the sport if Madrid is chosen, not only for what it is as a city, but for the leading sportsmen that Spain has,” Messi said. “It is good for athletes to compete at home. I had the experience of winning the gold medal with the Argenrine soccer team and it was very nice, but it was in Beijing.
Argentina’s most popular soccer clubs, Boca Juniors and River Plate, also support Madrid’s candidadcy.