Messi bags brace as Argentina beat Nicaragua in Copa America warm up

Lionel Messi celebrates a goal for Argentina against Nicaragua

Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi scores brace in Argentina 5-1 bing win over Nicaragua a warmed up match ahead of Copa America in Brazil. The left footer found the net in the 37th minute of the match before doubling Argentina's lead just 96 seconds later.

Lautaro Martinez, the Inter Milan forward, scored twice in the 63rd and 73rd minute of the second half to make it 4-0 by coming off the substitutes bench and give coach Scaloni food for thought.

Lionel Messi famously retired from International Football after Argentina's Copa America 2016 defeat, only to return the following year to help them qualify for the FIFA World Cup 2018. They have reached four of the last five finals.

Early on in Friday's first meeting between Argentina and Nicaragua, Scaloni's team failed to inspire in front of a sell-out crowd of 25,000 at San Juan del Bicentenario stadium in San Juan, Argentina.

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Aguero, earning his 90th cap, nearly slid in to break the deadlock before Messi wasted a golden chance in the 12th minute after receiving a lofted ball from Giovani Lo Celso, only to fail to make proper contact from close range.

Juan Barrera pulled a goal back for Nicaragua in stoppage time from the penalty spot, but it did nothing to dampen the mood in San Juan.

Argentina's Copa America campaign gets underway next Saturday against Colombia in Salvador de Bahía (Brazil) as they look to help Messi win an global trophy.

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