Argentina’s number ten Lionel Messi hinted at his insecurity playing at La Paz years before their 2026 World Cup qualifier clash against Bolivia at the venue. The player voiced the strenuousness related to the arena.
The Argentinian quotes – “I think it’s impossible to play there, in La Paz”. There are many historical venues where Messi played and even boosted successful records, but when coming to La Paz, this statement from the all-time great must have struck a nerve among his fans.
Leo Messi few years ago: “Personally, I think it’s impossible to play there, in La Paz.”
📊🇧🇴 Messi’s career record against Bolivia in La Paz:
0 assist pic.twitter.com/JwjZCmRTuZ
— All About Argentina 🛎🇦🇷 (@AlbicelesteTalk) September 10, 2023
Argentina will take on Bolivia in their next World Cup qualifier match on September 12 at the La Paz. The team has won their opening qualifier clash against Ecuador 1-0 with their captain Lionel Messi scoring a magnificent free-kick in the seventy-eighth minute of the game.
Earlier there were certain doubts regarding the player’s availability for the upcoming clash against Bolivia. This was majorly due to the number 10 being substituted in the final minutes of the game against Ecuador. However, it just proved to be a precautionary measure towards managing the 36-year-old’s workload, as suggested by the manager Lionel Scaloni in his post-match conference.
The Argentinian himself came out in the post-match interview and hinted that he was a bit tired, which is why the substitution came. Earlier in August, the number 10 tweaked his right ankle accidentally in a training session with his Major League Soccer (MLS) club, Inter Miami.
Lionel Messi’s past performances in La Paz
Messi’s previous outings at La Paz haven’t been so successful. He has struggled to be at his best at this particular venue. This can play a major part in Argentina’s performance against Bolivia at La Paz on September 12. The player scored a hat-trick against Bolivia when the teams met in World Cup qualifiers in September 2021, but that was when Argentina hosted the game at Estadio Mas Monumental.
At La Paz, Argentina has won only one match out of their four. While they have drawn one and lost two. Their captain has no goals or assists to his name during these outings. The 36-year-old has an impressive eight-goal tally to his name against Bolivia. But none of them were scored at La Paz. This signifies the verdict that his past performances at the venue, for any reason, have not been good enough.
During one of his outings at the stadium in 2013, the player struggled to breathe at a certain stage of the match and vomited. This was basically due to the stadium being noticeably high above sea level and the thinness of the air surrounding it.
Argentina currently sits third in the standings for the World Cup qualifiers. The manager, Lionel Scaloni, would want his captain to undo the curse of La Paz, score his first goal at the arena, and probably take his team to victory. It remains to be seen how the great will fair at La Paz this time around.