Messi joins Argentina for Copa America training session

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has joined the Argentina national team training camp at Buenos Aires for the Copa America 2019.

Argentine stars Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero at a training session in Buenos Aires on Thursday.   -  AFP

Argentina star Lionel Messi joined the national preparatory camp ahead of the 2019 Copa America on Thursday. The Barcelona icon took part in a training session along with Sergio Aguero, Paulo Dybala, Angel Di Maria and Nicolas Tagliafico, among others, in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires.

Messi comes into the Copa America on the back of a lukewarm campaign with Barcelona. The Catalan giant secured its 26th La Liga title, but was knocked out in the quarterfinal of the Champions League and lost the Copa del Rey final.

Messi and Di Maria will finally look to break the Copa America curse.   -  Reuters

 

Messi and Aguero will look to combine, along with the charismatic Dybala, as Argentina bids for its third Copa America crown (since the tournament was rebranded in 1975).

 

Thirty-one-year-old Messi will particularly look to get his hands on the trophy as he has struggled to find success with the national team. He had announced his retirement from international football after Argentina lost the Copa America final in 2016, but came back to join the side two months later.

Lionel Messi and midfielder Rodrigo De Paul share a light moment during the team's training camp in Buenos Aires.   -  AFP

 

He then went on to captain the La Albiceleste at the 2018 FIFA World Cup, where it lost to France in the round-of-16. Following the debacle, Messi took a lengthy 8-month break and returned to the national team for a friendly game against Venezuela in late March.

Argentina's last Copa success came in 1993, which was also its last silverware in senior men's football. The side has been drawn with Colombia, Paraguay and Qatar in Group B and will begin its campaign against Colombia on June 16.