Lionel Messi gallery as the Barcelona icon is put through his paces in Argentina training

David Cooper 28/05/2018
Lionel Messi training with his Argentina team-mates in Buenos Aires.

Lionel Messi is currently gearing up for World Cup 2018 with Argentina.

The footballing legend is in Buenos Aires and being put through his paces by head coach Jorge Sampaoli.

On Sunday, Messi was joined in training by the likes Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain.

Argentina face Haiti on Wednesday in a friendly.

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Lionel Messi trains with Argentina in Buenos Aires

David Cooper 26/05/2018
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Lionel Messi has been keeping busy after finishing his season with Barcelona last weekend.

The footballing legend is currently in Buenos Aires and training with Argentina ahead of the World Cup in Russia.

The South American side were put through their paces by head coach Jorge Sampaoli on Friday.

Messi was joined in training by the likes Angel Di Maria and Gonzalo Higuain.

Argentina face Haiti on Wednesday in a friendly.

Argentina's national football team forward Lionel Messi, gestures during a training session in Ezeiza, Buenos Aires on May 25, 2018. - The Argentinian team is training ahead of a friendly match against Haiti to be held on May 29 at "La Bombonera" stadium in Buenos Aires, before departing to Barcelona, to prepare for the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 in Russia. (Photo by JUAN MABROMATA / AFP) (Photo credit should read JUAN MABROMATA/AFP/Getty Images)

Messi looks in a relaxed mood at the La Bombonera stadium in Buenos Aires.

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Joachim Low regrets asking Mario Gotze to 'show he's better than Lionel Messi'

David Cooper 19/05/2018
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During the World Cup 2014 final in Brazil, Joachim Low sent on a 22-year-old Mario Gotze against Argentina with the words: ‘show the world you’re better than (Lionel) Messi‘.

Despite Gotze going on to strike the winning goal in that encounter to win the World Cup, the Germany coach has now admitted to regretting that line as the midfielder has since failed to live up to expectations.

Gotze’s decline has been so drastic that the 25-year-old has been excluded from the squad for 2018 World Cup, which kicks off on June 14 in Russia.

“That sentence was a spontaneous idea,” Low said.

“Whether this was good in hindsight, I do not know.

“In that moment, you don’t think about things that could happen afterwards.

“I made the mistake of making the sentence public afterwards.”

Gotze went down in history when he controlled the ball with his chest before volleying it into the back of the net in the 113th minute of the final four years ago.

However, Gotze’s career hasn’t gone the way many expected as his disappointing three-year spell with Bayern Munich has been followed by two seasons back at Borussia Dortmund riddled with injury.

Low says it was hard to leave the midfielder out of the squad and suggests that his comment didn’t do him any favours as Gotze was “always measured” against Messi since.

“If a player scores the decisive goal in the final at such a young age, it can be a burden later,” added Low.

“This season was not what we have all wished for from Mario Gotze.”

Gotze is determined to win back his place in the German squad.

“Of course I am sad that I won’t be participating at the World Cup, but I will do everything I can to get back into the squad,” Gotze wrote on Twitter.

“I hope the guys, the coaches and the back-room staff have a good time in Russia and I’ll keep my fingers crossed for all of them that they become world champions,” he added.

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