If a seven-time Ballon d’Or winner offers you a compliment, it’s usually a sure sign that you’re on the right path.
Having excelled during his debut season in Major League Soccer, Thiago Almada received high praise from none other than Lionel Messi after making his senior Argentina debut on Friday.
Almada came on as a 54th-minute substitute as La Albiceleste beat Honduras 3-0 in a friendly, completing 91% of his 22 attempted passes, creating one chance, and making four recoveries.
Even in limited minutes, the Atlanta United midfielder did enough to impress arguably the greatest player ever to grace the pitch.
“Thiago is very fresh. He is a very fast player who knows how to play one-on-one. He is very mischievous. He is not afraid of anything,” Messi said after Friday’s victory.
Argentina face Jamaica in another friendly on Tuesday, with Almada one of a number of young players looking to make Lionel Scaloni’s World Cup roster. The two-time champions have been drawn into Group C alongside Mexico, Poland, and Saudi Arabia.
Since signing for Atlanta United from Velez for an MLS-record $16m fee last winter, Almada has registered six goals and six primary assists across 27 regular season appearances.
The Five Stripes are ninth in the Eastern Conference, two points adrift of the MLS Cup Playoffs spots with two matches remaining.
Andrea Agnelli & Pavel Nedved among Juventus directors to offer shock resignation
Juventus have been rocked by the stunning resignations of their entire board, including president Andrea Agnelli and vice-president Pavel Nedved.
Numerous reports in Italy claim that the entire Juventus board of directors offered their shock resignations during a meeting on Monday evening.
CEO Maurizio Arrivabene is expected to remain at the club and assume control of Juventus while the new boardroom structure is finalised over the coming months.
Agnelli became Juventus chairman in 2010 and is also vice-chairman of the European Super League, having represented one of the three remaining supporters of the competition alongside Real Madrid and Barcelona.
His attachment to the Super League has attracted significant criticism, as has his management of Juventus, who have spent heavily in recent years but have fallen behind their rivals, both in Serie A and in Europe.
Juventus finished fourth in Serie A last season and entered the World Cup break in third, ten points behind leaders Napoli.
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