FIFA World Cup 2022: Big relief for Argentina as Messi returns to training ahead of final against France

Lionel Messi in a jovial mood at Argentina training ahead of Sunday’s FIFA World Cup 2022 final against France. Image Courtesy: Twitter @Argentina

Anilava Chatterjee, Qatar: In what comes as a huge relief in Argentina camp, talisman Lionel Messi was back training at the Qatar University Ground on Saturday ahead of the FIFA World Cup 2022 final against France. The seven-time Ballon D’s Or winner overcame an injury scare in time for Sunday’s final.

The 35-year-old was spotted clutching the hamstring against Croatia in the semi-final clash and reportedly did not train fully on Thursday, raising speculations about his availability for Sunday’s final. But all that is put to rest as he took part in the team’s training session.

Messi looked in great spirits as he went through the warm up drills. He was seen taking small sprints as well.

As far as the Argentina team news is concerned, everyone is available except Alejandro Gomez, who has not yet recovered fully from ankle sprain. Lionel Scaloni is most likely to keep Alejandro on the bench.

Albiceleste can still make one change could in the attacking line, as Angel Di Maria, who was kept in reserve during the semi-final, can make his way back in the starting line-up.

The Juventus star can form the three-prong attack alongside Julian Alvarez and Messi, who is set to make a record-breaking 26th World Cup appearance in his farewell match at the tournament.

A 4-3-3 formation would see the indispensable Alexis Mac Allister, Rodrigo De Paul and Enzo Fernandez line up in the middle, as Leandro Paredes makes way for clubmate Di Maria.

Gonzalo Montiel and Marcos Acuna are both back from suspension, but only the latter may successfully push for a return over Nicolas Tagliafico, as Nahuel Molina continues on the right.

The trusted pair of Cristian Romero and Nicolas Otamendi alongside Nahuel Molina and Marcos Acuna will form the back four.

Argentina possible starting lineup for final: E. Martinez; Molina, Romero, Otamendi, Acuna; De Paul, Fernandez, Mac Allister; Di Maria, Messi, Alvarez