Lionel Messi Praises Atlanta United’s Thiago Almada Following Argentina Debut


It’s pretty cool witnessing an Atlanta United player line up alongside one of the greatest soccer players of all time.

Thiago Almada had the opportunity Friday night when the Atlanta United midfielder made his senior international debut for Argentina. Almada subbed on in the 54th minute in the national team’s friendly against Honduras in Miami, Fla. He finished the night completing 91 percent of his passes, attempted one shot and created this takeaway that led to a shot on goal in Argentina's 3-0 win.

On the pitch with Almada was Lionel Messi, the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner and captain of the Argentina men’s national team. After the match, Messi praised Almada:

“Thiago tiene mucha, mucha frescura. Un jugador muy muy rápido que tiene mucha contra uno que muy picaro que no tiene miedo a nada.”

“Thiago is very fresh. He’s a very fast player who can play 1v1. He's clever and isn’t afraid of anything.”

Almada’s international debut comes on the heels of some widespread attention for the 21-year old. Along with his first international callup, he was recently named to the 22 Under 22 presented by BODYARMOR.

Now, he’s getting the chance to make a name for himself before Argentina heads to Qatar for the 2022 FIFA World Cup. Argentina has one more friendly in the September international window on Tuesday. Click here to learn how to watch the match.

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