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Featured Image Credit: TikTok/@_nomadadelfutbol
Rodrigo de Paul was captured slapping Lionel Messi jokingly during a training session for Argentina.
Messi and his international teammates are in Miami as they gear up for their upcoming friendly matches, against Honduras and Jamaica.
The video showed Atletico Madrid man De Paul and Paris Saint Germain star Messi messing with each other, Messi was seen saying something that led to a cheeky slap from De Paul. You can watch the footage below.
After the slap both players were smirking, at this stage, Leandro Paredes led De Paul away whilst smiling about the situation.
According to Spanish news outlet Mundo Deportivo, De Paul mouthed “Are you stupid, Leo?” towards the seven time Ballon d’Or winner.
De Paul and Messi are integral parts of the Argentina side as they are gearing up to try and win the World Cup in Qatar.
Lionel Scaloni’s side will first take on Honduras at the Hard Rock Stadium in Miami on Friday night before taking on Jamaica on Tuesday night.
Six days before they kick off their World Cup campaign, Argentina will take on United Arab Emirates in a friendly match.
Argentina are in Group C for the World Cup, alongside Saudi Arabia, Mexico and Poland. They will be clear favourites to win the group and advance to the knockout stages of the tournament.
Messi is looking to continue his fine recent international form in the World Cup, having won the Copa America in 2021 and the Finalissima in 2022.
Former France international Marcel Desailly spoke about Messi's chances at the World Cup during an interview with L'Equipe.
He said: “Messi remains an exceptional player, but he never made a World Cup like Maradona in 1986.”
“He is able to defy the elements if the opponent gives him space because he is a ‘killer’. But in a World Cup, there are no coincidences. You need continuity in performance and I don’t believe that one individual can still hold a team and make the difference in an entire tournament.”
Messi has had a fine start to the season with PSG. In 11 appearances across all competitions, the Argentina superstar has managed six goals and eight assists.
Can Messi inspire Argentina to World Cup glory? Only time will tell.