Angelino didn't want to injure Lionel Messi

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Manchester City's youngsters were in for a treat at the weekend when they were offered the chance to take part in a training session with Argentina, but one starlet has spoken of his fear of injuring one of the best players on the planet.

17-year-old Jose Angel Esmoris Tasende, known simply as Angelino, was tasked with marking Lionel Messi in a practice match and he revealed his biggest fear.

Argentina were training at City's Carrington training complex ahead of their Old Trafford friendly against Portugal, and Angelino admitted he was afraid to tackle the Barcelona star.

The Spanish defender said: "I couldn't believe I was defending against Messi. I didn't tackle him as I didn't want to injure him!"

Angelino has already trained with the City first team having impressed with their elite development squad, but he admitted coming up against Messi was a whole new challenge.

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The City kids were making up the numbers against Messi and co, and Angelino spoke of his delight at the opportunity.

"It was great experience for me to train with one of the best players in the world. We didn't expect this. To see all those big stars playing with us," he said.

"Here at City I've trained against some of the best players in the world with our first team so I wasn't really nervous but it helps a lot as a young player to come up against someone like him.

"It's a different style, different class and they've all been where we've been before."


While some may have been starstruck by the four-time Ballon d'Or winner, Angelino revealed the Barca man, and his international colleagues, to be a friendly and helpful bunch, even if they did run rings around the youngsters at times.

He said: "He was talking to me about my family and then the Argentina left-back was talking to me about my positioning and when I need to go forward or not. I didn't get anything signed, I didn't ask for it.

"Afterwards we were all talking about Messi because he got the ball at one point and dribbled past six or seven players. We were all impressed.


City will hope Angelino can take on board the advice offered to him, with big things expected of the Spanish youth international.

At just 17 he's playing above his age group with City's under-21's, and has excelled in the teams UEFA Youth League campaign this year.

With experienced stars like Aleksandar Kolarov and Gael Clichy failing to convince this season it seems only a matter of time before Manuel Pellegrini gives the Spanish starlet a chance in the first-team.

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Argentina Football
Manchester City
Lionel Messi

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