LIONEL MESSI took up a new job during Argentina’s 3-0 win over Bolivia.
The Argentina captain and winger sat the game out as he was registered as an assistant coach in Lionel Scaloni’s setup.
Messi was an assistant coach for Argentina against Bolivia[/caption]
Messi had picked up a knock in the previous game against Ecuador.
Despite this though, he still managed to score the only goal of the game with a stunning free-kick.
Scaloni judged it was best not to risk Messi against Bolivia – both thanks to the national team’s tough tackling nature and the fact that La Paz sits 3,625 metres above sea level.
Oxygen is sparse at the Hernando Siles Stadium and it is common for away teams to take breaks in the game to inhale pure oxygen from canisters.
Pictures emerged before the game of the likes of Alexis MacAllister and Cristian Romero inhaling from oxygen tubes as they arrived off the team bus in the Bolivian city.
Neymar complained about playing in the stadium in 2017, blasting the conditions as “inhumane”.
Messi has struggled at the stadium historically too, he was part of Diego Maradona‘s Argentina side that lost 6-1 away at Bolivia in 2009.
Four years later, he played in an Argentina team that was only able to grab a 1-1 draw.
He finally got his first win against Argentina’s South American rivals in October 2020 when they beat Bolivia 2-1 in World Cup Qualification.
Messi’s rest last night will also be music to the ears of the Inter Miami squad, who have had to make do without Messi over the international break.
The Miami side beat Sporting KC 3-2 during the Argentine’s absence but have been heavily reliant on him since his arrival this summer.
Messi has 11 goals and five assists for Miami since making his debut in August.
September 14, 2023 at 02:06AM
from The Sun