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ARGENTINA

Lionel Messi waits for Julián Álvarez in China ahead of Argentina’s friendlies: when do they play?

La Albiceleste trained in Beijing, where the team will play against Australia in a friendly.

Update:
La Albiceleste trained in Beijing, where the team will play against Australia in a friendly.
THOMAS PETERREUTERS

The Argentina national team trained in Beijing ahead of the friendly match that they will play against Australia. The team led by Lionel Scaloni has not been out of the spotlight for a second since arriving on Chinese soil, mainly due to the presence of Inter Miami’s newest signing, Leo Messi, with hundreds of fans gathered outside of the team hotel with the hope of seeing the Argentina captain.

Lionel Scaloni won’t be able to have the full squad at his disposal but over the next few hours, various players are expected to join up with their teammates, such as Thiago Almada, Nico González and Julián Álvarez, who all finished their club seasons later than the rest due to being part of various competitions that extended into June. Given Álvarez just won the Champions League with Manchester City, he will be the last player to link up with the team.

Álvarez arrives as the first Argentine to have won the World Cup, Copa América, Copa Libertadores and Champions League and is only the 12th player in history to win the World Cup and UCL in the same season. At just 23-years-old, Álvarez already has an extremely large trophy cabinet. However, things might not look so straightforward for the striker, as he refused to commit his future to Manchester City colours in a recent interview.

Julián Álvarez kisses the Champions League after City beat Inter 1-0 in Istanbul.
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Julián Álvarez kisses the Champions League after City beat Inter 1-0 in Istanbul.DILARA SENKAYAREUTERS

When do Argentina play?

Argentina will play against Australia on Thursday 15 June in the Beijing Olympic Stadium, the same one where they trained on Sunday ahead of the tie. On Monday 19, Argentina will play against Indonesia at the Gelora Bung Karno Main Stadium in Jakarta, Indonesia.

Everything points to Lionel Scaloni putting out his strongest possible side for the game against Australia, with the coach preferring to wait to make changes against Indonesia. One of the big pulls during these games will be the potential inclusion of Manchester United winger, Alejandro Garnacho, the 18-year-old who was born in Madrid.