Sports

Thousands turn out in Abu Dhabi to watch Messi-led Argentina train

Sports Desk, Nov 14 (EFE).- Lionel Messi was the main attraction Monday as several thousand people flocked to Al-Nahyan Stadium in Abu Dhabi to watch the Argentine national soccer team train.

The Paris Saint-Germain striker was at the stadium just hours after joining his teammates in the capital of the United Arab Emirates.

Messi, 35, flew in from France following PSG’s 5-0 rout of Auxerre in Ligue 1.

Two other members of the Argentine squad, Angel di Maria and Leandro Paredes of Juventus, likewise arrived in Abu Dhabi on Monday in the wake of the Bianconeri’s 3-0 victory against Lazio in Serie A.

One fan was so excited about the presence of Messi that he ran out onto the pitch, but security kept him away from the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner preparing for his fifth and final World Cup.

Coach Lionel Scaloni took it easy on his charges ahead of Wednesday’s friendly with the UAE, which will be the Albiceleste’s last tune-up before the tournament gets under way in neighboring Qatar.

Argentina will open their World Cup campaign Nov. 22 against Saudi Arabia, going on to face Mexico Nov. 26 before they wrap up the group stage with a match against Robert Lewandowski’s Poland.

EFE sd-jap/dr

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