Thu. Sep 21st, 2023

Argentina’s Lionel Messi, heart, walks together with his teammates after a nationwide soccer crew observe in La Paz, Bolivia, Monday, Sept. 11, 2023. Argentina will face Bolivia for a qualifying soccer match for the FIFA World Cup 2026, in La Paz, on Tuesday (AP Picture/Juan Karita)

LA PAZ, Bolivia — Lionel Messi skipped Argentina’s final observe session on the eve of a World Cup qualifying match in Bolivia.

The 36-year-old Inter Miami striker left Argentina’s match towards Ecuador late final week complaining of fatigue, which may affect coach Lionel Scaloni’s alternatives for Tuesday’s match in difficult situations at La Paz’ altitude of three,000 meters.

Scaloni instructed a information convention Sunday that he may go away a choice on Messi till a number of hours earlier than the match.

Throughout Monday’s coaching, Messi sat on a chair near Scaloni and watched his teammates observe. He spoke to the coach as different gamers tried to adapt to the altitude and the faster pace of the ball, which is a attribute that makes it so onerous for guests to win in Bolivia.

Scaloni gave no hints on the observe session on what he’ll do if Messi doesn’t play on the Hernando Siles Stadium towards a crew that was battered 5-1 by Brazil final week in its opening recreation of South American qualifying.

Argentina’s ahead Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring a objective in the course of the 2026 FIFA World Cup South American qualifiers soccer match between Argentina and Ecuador, on the Mas Monumental stadium in Buenos Aires, on September 7, 2023. (Picture by Luis ROBAYO / AFP)

Messi scored from a free kick to offer Argentina a 1-0 house win towards Ecuador in its first official worldwide since profitable the World Cup final December.

The 2026 version of the World Cup in america, Mexico and Canada is increasing to a 48-team format. The main six groups in South America will safe a direct spot. The seventh-place crew will contest an intercontinental playoff for one more spot on the finals.

If Messi doesn’t play on Tuesday it is going to disappoint many Bolivians, together with lots of of native followers who turned out to welcome him to the nation Sunday night.

La Paz’ metropolis corridor sponsored an signal near the venue of the match with the Spanish inscription “Sos grande Messi” (You’re nice, Messi). The choice introduced criticism to mayor Iván Arias.

Messi has by no means scored in La Paz, however has eight targets in 11 matches towards Bolivia. If the star striker performs and scores on Tuesday, he’ll overcome Luis Suárez of Uruguay because the all-time main objective scorer in South American World Cup qualifying.

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