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Messi & Co sweat it out ahead of friendly

Last updated on: September 1, 2011 23:07 IST

Messi & Co sweat it out ahead of friendly

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Star footballer Lionel Messi and his team had their final practice session this evening ahead of the FIFA International friendly between Argentina and Venezuela at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan.

The second day's practice session was also a light one with new coach Alejandro Sabella stressing more on set piece movement, players coordination and muscle-relaxing exercises.


Image: Lionel Messi
Photographs: Dipak Chakraborty
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Set piece and tactical moves

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Aware that most of his wards are fresh from their respective clubs stints in the European league, Sabella did not overdid his training.

All the attention was on Messi but the Argentine sensation was a bit off target today even as chants of 'Messi, Messi...' could be heard loudly from the closed door practice.

No spectators were allowed inside the ground, while the mediapersons had the privilege to watch the Argentines train for the last 10 minutes.

Former East Bengal coach Subrata Bhattacharya, who watched Messi and co training from a ringside view, said the Argentines were stressing on tactical moves.

"They are all professional players from a top country. They know their requirement and their approach was accordingly. The coach was giving stress on set piece and tactical moves," Bhattacharya said.


Image: Lionel Messi during a practice session in Kolkata

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Venezuela team had their first practice session

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The Venezuelans, meanwhile, had their first practice session ahead of the clash.

They were forced to abort their practice session after they lost their baggage in the transit as the players kit went to Madrid instead of coming to Kolkata.

"It was an airlines goof-up," Bhaswar Goswami, executive director of the Celebrity Managment Group, who are organizing the show, said.

But it seemed the baggage landed as the La Vinotintos were seen wearing their team colours as they practised more than an hour.

Unlike the Argentines, the Venezuelans practice was more intense as they played a practice match among themselves and had some extensive workout session.

The match starts at 6.45 pm and will be telecast on ESPN.


Image: Lionel Messi relaxes after a practice session

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