Soccer fans lined the wind-screened covered fences around San Jose State University football practice field for a peek at the world's best soccer player, Argentina's Lionel Messi as he joined his teammates for the first time in preparation for his country's June 6 match vs. Chile in the Copa America Centenario tournament.
The Argentine team began training for Copa America five days earlier without the celebrated soccer superstar, but now were whole with Messi's first appearance for team training.
"...When he walked in, all eyes were on him (Messi). I think it is a real big deal he is here. And, it's so cool he is here at our school," said sophomore-to-be midfielder Daria Manzano of the San Jose State University women's soccer team..
"For everyone, it is a huge hype. We're all very excited. The media's excited. Argentina's ready for the tournament," said Courtney Elterman, another sophomore-to-be midfielder on the Spartans women's soccer team.
Manzano and Elterman are two of the venue assistants from the university's men's and women's soccer programs for Copa America Centenario practices at San Jose State.
"You're going to see how everything revolves around Messi," junior defender Carlos Valdovinos of the San Jose State men's soccer team was told by a member of the Argentine coaching staff. "He's the best player who has ever lived. His performance on the field speaks for itself."
Argentina takes on Chile in a Group D Copa America Centenario opening round match, Monday, June 6, in nearby Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, Calif.
Following Argentina's match, San Jose State will host Jamaica and one other country to be determined by round robin pool play during Copa America Centenario.