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09th Jun 2018

Messi and Argentina teammates are absolutely gutted about Manuel Lanzini’s injury

The burden on Messi's shoulders just got bigger

Reuben Pinder

He won’t be playing in Russia this summer

At every World Cup, there’s always at least one unfortunate soul who has to pull out through injury, and as an array of poor decisions from various England managers have shown, it’s never worth taking someone half-fit.

Manuel Lanzini became the latest addition to the casualty list this week, as he tore his anterior cruciate ligament in training. The West Ham midfielder was set to start next to Lionel Messi and Angel Di Maria in Argentina’s attacking midfield line, behind Gonzalo Higuaín, but will now have to watch his compatriots from his sofa.

Video footage has surfaced of what appears to be the moment that the news is broken to the rest of the squad on the team bus. Lanzini’s teammates are of course, absolutely heartbroken for him.

You can actually see the exact moment that Lionel Messi realises he’s going to have to do it all on his own, again.

Paulo Dybala will now have a greater chance of starting at the tournament, on the right of the attacking quartet, although Jorge Sampaoli has been reluctant to play Dybala and Messi together due to their similar styles.

This could open up a space for another striker to start, possible Sergio Agüero, with Messi moving to the right. Or alternatively, Boca Juniors’ Cristian Pavón could find himself filling in for Lanzini in Argentina’s opening group game against Iceland on Saturday 16th June.