"The game is more of a special occasion (to celebrate the FAS' 125th anniversary) and comes after the Brazil match, so I was expecting some of the stars might not play at the end of the day", said administrator Kenneth Chong, 33, who has bought tickets to the game.
But while organisers are enthusiastic, then-Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza made clear neither he nor his players were happy when the game was announced past year.
No longer the false No.9 of the Pep Guardiola era, his impact as a creator, supplier and scorer has grown with a licence to roam off the right wing as part of the renowned Messi-Suarez-Neymar attacking triumvirate.
"These types of games, the friendly games, give us the opportunity to test their compatibility and know whether they can work together, how effective that synergy will be".
"So it doesn't matter how strongly we want him to play if the medical advice is to the contrary".
"That's what we're going to push, for the team to play collectively with Messi to get the best out of him".
The likes of Angel di Maria, Paulo Dybala, Gonzalo Higuain and Nicolas Otamendi all seemed in a determined mood as well as they were also pictured in training ahead of the upcoming match with Brazil.
Argentina's covert operation underlines the pressure the squad, particularly Messi and Sampaoli, are under, with the two-time World Cup winners having failed to qualify just once, back in 1970.
Despite the pressure - and Argentina's well-known aversion to the media - the 57-year-old appeared relaxed speaking to 40-odd reporters on Thursday.
And he's not underestimating Tite's transformed Selecao despite the absence of superstar Neymar, controversially left behind for a rare off-season break, having already captained the team to Russian Federation 2018 qualification.
"Otamendi and Messi are allowed to travel (home) after the game because the two of them are getting married", Argentina coach Jorge Sampaoli said in yesterday's pre-match press conference.
"However Brazil has really good players able to pick up the team's performance without him".
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