Argentina enjoyed their first training session as a full 23-man squad on Tuesday morning, with European Cup finalist Martín Demichelis and two of the men who beat him in that final, Diego Milito and Walter Samuel, training for the first time with the team. Lionel Messi didn’t play yesterday due to Maradona’s desire not to risk a slight thigh strain, and Juan Sebastián Verón has displayed an admirable sense of just how big the Canada match really was, calling it, ‘a training session.’
‘We’ve learned how to open up a defence that’s set up very deep, which is always tricky,’ Verón said. ‘It’s something which we have to look upon as a training session. In a World Cup things are going to be totally different, but we’ve recovered our attitude. But we’ve got to remember the occasion. We can’t draw any extensive conclusions [from that match].’
Captain Javier Mascherano, meanwhile, was similarly pleased with the attitude shown by the team and also lamented that Messi was unable to play, although the fans in the Monumental were chanting his name all the same, in what Olé calls one of the very few displays of unalloyed support for La Pulga since his Argentina debut in 2005. Messi’s slight strain, and a knock to Maxi Rodríguez’s ankle which was the reason for his half-time substitution yesterday, are the only concerns at this point.
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