Argentine forward Lionel Messi has reportedly not trained with his teammates during the recent practice session three days before their FIFA World Cup opener against Saudi Arabia. Before club football’s break, Messi had suffered inflammation in the Achilles tendon during Paris Saint Germain’s Champions League fixture against Juventus.
Messi then missed the next game for PSG as he was rested as a ‘precautionary measure’. Going back to the 36-year-old’s recent injury concern, Spanish media outlet, MARCA stated that the Argentine missed Friday’s training session and then practised alone in the next session.
Marca’s report said, “Messi did not train on Friday, did not go out with the team. Finally, in the 10th minute of training, the star came out to exercise …. but alone.” Reports also state, “Lionel Scaloni's coaching staff are being careful not to overload him on a daily basis so that he does not suffer any muscular problems. That is why the star did not train with the ball on Friday or Saturday.”
On the road to the World Cup, the Albicelestes are on a 36-match unbeaten run where Messi has been the top scorer and captain. Hence they have been considered one of the favourites to win in Qatar. This World Cup also holds special importance for Messi as this will be the fifth and last time he gets a chance to win the elusive trophy and replicate what footballing legend Diego Maradona did for Argentina.
The 35-year-old confirmed that the 2022 FIFA World Cup will be his last. While speaking to ESPN, he said, “It’s my last World Cup, surely. I feel good physically, I was able to do a very good pre-season this year, which I couldn’t do last year. It was essential to get to where I am, with a good state of mind and a lot of hope,”