Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli has admitted to meeting with his side's captain Lionel Messi, in order to discuss how the Barcelona attacker can avoid a repeat of the 2014 World Cup - for which he turned up exhausted.
The Argentinian is on fire so far this season, and his Barcelona side are head and shoulders above the rest at the top of La Liga. However, despite his ability to avoid long-term injuries like a machine, the five-time Ballon d'Or winner knows how to tire himself out.
Sampaoli has sought to avoid that, admitting that he has spoken to Messi to try and figure out how the star man can turn up to Russia as fit as a fiddle:
"We talked with Leo about his current affairs and not to happen what happened in the previous World Cup, which arrived Extremely exhausted." He began, via Sport.
"Look for the breaks to generate the best physical and mental form for the World Cup, it will be very important and it will be much more genuine for him to handle it than another,"
On his tour around Europe, in which he discussed with various players the upcoming World Cup, Sampaoli even visited Javier Mascherano, and admits that the versatile central player's move to Chine hasn't hurt his chances at a call up:
"We hope that this possibility of playing often and that Pellegrini will take it into account in that role of central midfielder who has not had it in his team for a long time, will give us an evaluation parameter about his position and the moment "