Argentina geared for their World Cup campaign with an easy win over the UAE in Abu Dhabi extending their unbeaten run to 36 games.

Angel Di Maria scored a brace with Julian Alvarez, Lionel Messi and Joaquin Correa also on target in a glorified training exhibition.

Manchester City’s Alverez opened the scoring in the 17th minute when Messi unselfishly set him up for his third international goal when he only had the goalkeeper to beat.

Di Maria then added two world-class goals in the 25th and 36th minute to put the game away for good for his side. The forward got his first from a volley he expertly put away after receiving a pass from Marcos Acuna before dribbling past several defenders to find the back of the net for his second.

The 34-year-old, who recovered from an injury just in time to be named in Argentina’s squad, then assisted Messi’s goal one minute from halftime, who found the corner with a perfectly placed shot.

Joaquin Correa completed the scoreline in the 60th minute when his deflected strike went Khalid Eisa in UAE’s goal.

With their comprehensive win over UAE, Argentina sent another strong message to their opponents in the World Cup just a week out from their opening match against Saudi Arabia in Group C.

Lionel Scaloni’s side will face Mexico and Poland in the group stages as well.

Despite Lionel Messi not considering his side the favourites, their recent form perfectly places them for a long run in the competition.

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