MX23RW : Monday, July 16 12:22:58

Jorge Sampaoli talks up Lionel Messi, Sergio Aguero partnership

Argentina boss Jorge Sampaoli says that he is happy with the link-up play on show from his players in the 1-0 win over Russia.

Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli has hailed the on-field understanding between Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero after the pair starred against World Cup hosts Russia on Saturday afternoon.

Aguero, making his first appearance for La Albiceleste since June 2016, tucked home debutant Cristian Pavon's cross at the second time of asking to earn his side a 1-0 victory at the Luzhniki Stadium.

Messi was playing just off the Manchester City striker and played a key part in the build-up to that late strike, but it was Aguero who received most of the plaudits after joining Hernan Crespo as Argentina's third all-time top scorer.

"This is what we are looking for. There was more vertical play with [Alejandro] Gomez next to [Angel] di Maria, interesting movements between Aguero and Messi, many movements on the wings," Sampaoli told reporters.

"[Aguero] read and understood the match very well in a few places. He had a couple of shots in the first half and another three in the second, one of which was a goal."

Messi will be absent for Argentina's friendly against Nigeria on Tuesday night, having been granted permission to return to club side Barcelona.

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Lionel Messi during an Argentina training session on March 22, 2016
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