Argentina defeated Bolivia 3-0 in the second leg of their South American qualifying match for the 2026 North and Central American World Cup at Estadio Hernando Silva in La Paz, Bolivia, on Sept. 13.

The defending World Cup champions started Julian Alvarez up top, with Nicolas Gonzalez and Angel Di Maria playing on the left and right wings. Enzo Fernandez, Alexis McAllister, and Rodrigo de Paul lined up in midfield, with Nicolas Tagliapico, Nicolas Otamenti, Christian Romero, and Nauel Molina in defense. In goal was Emiliano Martinez. Despite not seeing Argentine captain Lionel Messi’s name on the roster, Argentina defeated Bolivia 3-0.

Fernandez scored in the 31st minute and Tagliapico in the 42nd before Gonzalez sealed the win in the second half off a pass from Ezequiel Palacios.

For the game, Argentine coach Scaloni left Messi out of the starting lineup. Messi sat on the bench for the entire match. It’s against the rules for a player not on the roster to sit on the bench.

There’s a secret here, the British media reported. The Argentine national team allegedly took advantage of a loophole in FIFA’s rules. They registered Lionel Messi as the team’s coach. 바카라사이트

If you watch the game, you’ll see Messi sitting on the bench in his tracksuit. That’s because he was Argentina’s coach. According to local media, he wasn’t a coach, but a member of the staff that helps the head coach.

Messi, who was supposed to captain the Argentine team, was not on the roster, so the captain for the game was Angel Di Maria, 35, according to the UK’s The Sun.

TNT Sports elaborated on how this happened. Messi had filled out and submitted FIFA paperwork under the title of assistant coach instead of starting, so he was not named in the squad but was allowed to sit on the bench. 

This was done to protect Messi, according to Scaloni. The stadium in Bolivia, where the match took place, is 3625 meters above sea level. In addition, Bolivian players are known for their roughness.

Because the stadium is so high up, oxygen is much less available than in the flatlands. It”s common for players to use oxygen masks to inhale oxygen during breaks.

Argentine players like Alexis McAllister and Cristian Romero used oxygen tubes to get off the bus when they arrived at the stadium.

Neymar, who experienced the stadium, gave an interview in 2017. The Brazilian international called it “inhumane” after the game.

Messi has also struggled at the stadium. In 2009, he played against Bolivia and watched his team lose 1-6. In 2013, he barely managed a 1-1 draw.

Then, in October 2020, Argentina won 2-1 against Bolivia for the first time in a World Cup qualifier in Qatar. It was Argentina’s first away win in 11 years.

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