Lionel Messi Leads Argentina Team-Mates Through Rain-Drenched Practice In Barcelona As They Canceled Their World Cup Warm-Up Game Against Israel Over Growing Political Pressure

The Barcelona star looked at ease in familiar surroundings but looked focused in action

Lionel Messi and his Argentina team-mates continued their preparations for the World Cup at Barcelona’s Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper on Wednesday.

Home of the famous La Masia, Jorge Sampoali’s squad were put through their paces in miserable conditions in the Catalan city.

They were pictured taking part in a number of light fitness and shooting drills in a bid to keep fresh for the tournament that begins in one week.

They were pictured taking part in a number of light fitness and shooting drills on Thursday

Lionel Messi and his Argentina team-mates continued their preparations for the World Cup

On Tuesday, Argentina cancelled their final World Cup warm-up match against Israel amid mounting political pressure ahead of the fixture in Jerusalem.

‘They’ve finally done the right thing,’ Juventus striker Gonzalo Higuain told ESPN, confirming reports the game had been cancelled.

The match at Jerusalem’s Teddy Stadium on Saturday was to be Argentina’s last before they kick off their World Cup campaign in Russia on June 16.

The stadium that was to host the match is in west Jerusalem. The Palestinians want the eastern part of the city as the capital of a future state that will include the Gaza Strip and the Israeli-occupied West Bank.

The cancellation is just one more obstacle for Argentina, who were beaten finalists at the World Cup in Brazil four years ago and whose preparations have been troubled this time around.

They suffered a heavy defeat to Spain in a friendly and lost their first-choice goalkeeper Sergio Romero to injury, giving little encouragement to fans who watched the team struggle to qualify for the tournament in Russia.

The two-time World Cup winners face Iceland, Nigeria and Croatia in the group stage in Russia.

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