WASHINGTON, March 26 – Argentina and Barcelona star Lionel Messi took a break from football on Wednesday, joining Argentinian team-mates at the Washington Wizards’ home NBA game against the Indiana Pacers.
Messi posted a photo of the action at the Wizards’ Verizon Center arena on his Instagram account, captioned “viendo basquet” — watching basketball.
Plenty of NBA fans in attendance displayed their soccer savvy, posting pictures of Messi and his team-mates on social media sites.
The Wizards posted a video clip of the Argentina players arriving at the game in their blue track suits.
A photo of Messi was captioned “our special guest for #WizPacers” although it’s likely the Argentinians were backing countryman Luis Scola and his Pacers, who edged the Wizards 103-101.
Messi and Argentina are due to take on El Salvador in a friendly in Washington on Saturday, with a friendly against Ecuador to follow in East Rutherford, New Jersey, on Tuesday.
Although reports earlier this week suggested a right foot injury could be serious enough to prevent Messi from playing in the friendlies, the Argentina Football Association allayed those fears with a report that tests showed all was well.
Messi has trained with team-mates at Georgetown University this week and will be available for the matches, which are part of Argentina’s preparation for the Copa America later this year.