Argentina’s boss sheds light on Lionel Messi’s discomfort at high altitude after World Cup Champs’ triumph against Bolivia

Lionel Messi is a highly competitive player who does not like losing and does not like playing at high-altitude stadiums either. In 2013, Argentina’s encounter with Bolivia in the World Cup Qualifier series saw Messi and Di Maria fall ill due to the poorly aerated Bolivian stadium. Hence, the 36-year-old World Cup champion “did not feel comfortable” playing under the same conditions again.

Argentina’s encounter against Bolivia revealed that the team will shine even in Lionel Messi’s absence. Scaloni’s side cruised to seamless victory as they comfortably netted three goals against their host in the CONMEBOL World Cup qualifier series.

Messi’s unease at 3,600 meters above sea level

During the 2013 World Cup qualifier in La Paz, Messi, a Barcelona player at the time, reportedly fell ill on the pitch, grappling with the challenges posed by the high-altitude conditions in Bolivia. The stadium is situated at an elevation of nearly 4,000 meters above sea level, which can significantly affect players’ ability to perform due to the thin air.

Lionel Messi

The air condition in the Bolivian Stadium was so challenging that Di Maria had to be hooked on Oxygen during the game. The match later ended in a draw.

Lionel Messi and the Argentine team returned to Bolivia in their 2023 World Cup qualifying games, and Scaloni, reported that Messi ‘did not feel comfortable’ playing in Bolivia. He also added that it was difficult to play at an altitude of 3,600 meters above sea level.

However, Argentina did not have much need for Lionel Messi as they seamlessly cruised to victory against their opponent in a 3-0 victory.

Argentina outclasses Bolivia without Lionel Messi

The Bolivia vs. Argentina match clearly reveals that the team will be in safe hands even after Lionel Messi’s departure. It turned out the team did not need Messi in the match as they conveniently cruised to victory.

Lionel Messi

With that recent victory against Bolivia and a previous 1-0 win over Ecuador, Argentina ascended to the top of CONMEBOL‘s challenging World Cup qualifying campaign.

The solitary goal in that triumph was netted by Messi, who initiated the game at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires. He now returns to the United States in an effort to regain match fitness for an upcoming weekend clash against Atlanta United.

Inter Miami is currently making a determined push for the MLS Cup Playoffs, presently positioned six points adrift of a Wild Card spot and 12 points away from automatic qualification.


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