Lionel Messi prepares to carry weight of a nation on his shoulders at World Cup as he lifts heavy loads in training during Argentina boot camp
- Lionel Messi will have to carry weight of expectation upon him at the World Cup
- He carried weights in training as he prepares to carry the hopes of a nation
- Argentina have one final friendly against Israel before heading out to Russia
- It could be Messi’s final World Cup as he turns 31 during the tournemant
It was another day of preparation for Lionel Messi in the familiar surroundings of Barcelona, as he and his Argentina team-mates continue their pre-World Cup boot camp in a bid to land their hands on the biggest prize in football.
The hopes of a nation will be pinned on one man and Messi will be well aware that this could be his last chance to land silverware on the international stage.
The Barcelona star was tasked with carrying weight on his shoulders in Argentina’s training session on Tuesday. Come June 14 he will be tasked with carrying a lot more.
Lionel Messi (c) carries a weight on his shoulders during Argentina training in Barcelona
Messi (c) grapples with the load but it will pale in comparison to weight of expectation on him
The 30-year-old throws the weight off of him after a hard workout at the Argentina boot camp
Argentina’s other stars will be hoping they can take some of the load as Sergio Aguero, Pablo Dybala and Angel di Maria all trained alongside Messi.
Manchester City’s centre-back Nicolas Otamendi also looked in good condition and he will be hoping to take some of his Premier League form into the World Cup.
After all, it is defensively that Argentina have most often been vulnerable. Perhaps finally, alongside Federico Fazio who reached the Champions League semi-finals with Roma, they will have a defensive pairing capable of helping their side go the distance.
Now in the closing stages of their World Cup warm-up regime, they will play a final friendly against Israel in Jerusalem before travelling on to Russia.
Argentina squad have been preparing for the World Cup and have one final friendly with Israel
Messi (c) will have to carry the weight of a nation on his shoulders as they go for World Cup win
Nicolas Otamendi (2-L) trains with fellow defenders including Man United’s Marcos Rojo (2-R)
June 9 – vs Israel (Jerusalem)
June 16 – vs Iceland (Moscow)
June 21 – vs Croatia (Nizhny Novgorod)
June 26 – vs Nigeria (Saint Petersburg)
It could well be Messi’s last shot at a major international trophy, which has continued to elude him.
He threatened to retire from international football following Argentina’s defeat to Chile in the 2016 Copa America final, but came back to help his country qualify for the World Cup.
The forward will turn 31-years-old during the tournament and it’s unlikely he will partake in any further World Cup’s, leaving this as his final shot at emulating Diego Maradona.
Once again, he will carry the weight of his country on his shoulders as he bids to add a trophy to his collection that would surely cement him as the greatest player of all time.
Otamendi could be vital for Argentina if he can continue his Premier League winning form
It could be Messi’s final shot at winning the World Cup as he turns 31 during the tournament
Willy Cabellero will be vying for a starting place but it looks unlikely after missing No 1 shirt
Author: Nancy Parker
Nancy Parker is a five time Emmy Award winning journalist and seven time Emmy nominee who has spent almost twenty five years covering news in South Louisiana. She has anchored every prime time newscast at WVUE FOX8 during her twenty year tenure in New Orleans.