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Lionel Messi nutmegs Javier Mascherano in Barcelona training

What's the point of being the world's best footballer if you can't use your talents to humiliate your friends? Barcelona's Lionel Messi took some time in training to consider how best to trick his Argentina teammate Javier Mascherano and decided to go for the old-fashioned nutmeg.

Careful, though, Leo: When you have football's most expensive legs, we don't advise making one of the toughest defenders around angry.

Luis Suarez seemed to like it, though!

 By Chris Wright

Andres D'Alessandro gets his own face tattooed on his stomach

We can forgive Portsmouth fans for not being able to immediately recall Andres D'Alessandro, given that the Argentinian midfielder only spent one largely sporadic season with the club back in 2005-06.

However, the man himself should have no trouble whatsoever recalling his face after spending good money having it tattooed across his stomach for reasons unbeknownst to us.

Now aged 34 and playing his football with Internacional in the Brazilian top flight, D'Alessandro proudly posed for a few photos...

 By Tim Vickery

Argentina, Gerardo Martino navigate through tricky World Cup quals window

FC's Alejandro Moreno highlights the significance of Argentina's first WC qualifying win for both the team and head coach.
Lucas Biglia scored his first goal for Argentina as they got their first CONMEBOL 2018 WC qualifying win against Colombia.

The pressure has eased on Argentina coach Gerardo Martino -- at least until the visit to Chile in March. For the time being, though, Martino can breathe much more easily. The third and fourth rounds of the World Cup qualification campaign -- at home to Brazil and away to Colombia -- were full with danger. Four points, a draw and a win, is a satisfactory return which should be sufficient to steady the ship.

This is an achievement in which the coach has plenty of merit. When he was in charge of Paraguay...

 By Tim Vickery

Brazil's draw with Argentina only worthwhile if Selecao beat Peru

Argentina bossed the game, but Brazil fought back to snatch a point against the run of play.

Friday night's clash between those great South American rivals Argentina and Brazil finished as a 1-1 draw, giving each side a point as they seek to qualify for Russia 2018.

At the moment, though, that point is hanging in the breeze. Its true value will have to wait until the fourth round of the marathon World Cup qualification campaign is played on Tuesday.

Argentina face an awkward trip to Barranquilla, where they will play Colombia in the searing afternoon heat. If they get a good result there,...

ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

FC Talking Points: Cristiano Ronaldo's future, Lionel Messi's Clasico status

Football always inspires debate, and this weekend was no exception. Here are five burning questions on the ESPN FC radar.

Vote and comment below or on Twitter using the hashtag #FCtalkingpoints.

Cristiano Ronaldo generated plenty of attention this week (what else is new?) by saying that he "loves Manchester United" and does not anticipate ever playing in Major League Soccer or in Qatar. The Portuguese has always expressed his affinity for the English club, but could it all be posturing for...

 By Sam Kelly

Argentina play well in Brazil draw but pressure remains on Gerardo Martino

Argentina dominated their World Cup Qualifier against Brazil, but remain winless in qualifying as they were held to a draw.

BUENOS AIRES, Argentina -- Little by little, signs of progress are apparent for Gerardo Martino's Argentina but after Friday night's 1-1 draw at home to Brazil, which leaves them with just two points from a possible nine in South America's World Cup qualification, it was hard to work out whether the glass was half-empty or half-full.

Without Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, Martino knew the stakes were high and given Argentina's sluggish start to qualifying, they were higher than normal for the...