Leo never escaped that responsibility when defending the Argentina shirt. In La Paz Bolivia suffered 6-1 with the team led by Maradona, but also 1-1 when Sabella put up 5 defenders.
Playing at the height of La Paz should not be inhumane, as Daniel Passarella once said and earned the repudiation of the entire Bolivian people, but without a doubt it is an atypical situation that most footballers accustomed to running on the plain would prefer to avoid . So, the attitude of Lionel Messi is highly valuable, He never escaped that responsibility when defending the Argentina jersey, beyond that his absence could be a “license allowed” for the best footballer on the planet. Perhaps Messi is too used to being on top of the world, so he is not afraid of La Paz’s height. And there, too, he will dare to challenge some records.
Will be the seventh time what The flea play a qualifying match at the height of South America. The previous records were 3 in Quito (2,700 meters), 2 in La Paz (3,680 meters) and the remaining one in Bogotá (2,600 meters). Only once did the Rosario win under this situation, but it was a triumph that was worth as much as qualifying for a World Cup. It happened on October 10, 2017, at the Atahualpa Olympic Stadium in Quito, and Argentina won 3-1, after starting losing to the minute of play, with a triplet of Leo. “Messi’s genius put us in the World Cup”, was the cover of Clarion the day after. “There was the fear of coming to play here because of what the height means. Luckily we reacted well to their goal and we were able to handle the game well,” said the Argentine captain on that glorious day.
On November 20, 2007, in Bogotá, Messi met for the first time at the height and Argentina lost 2-1. Alfio Basile was the coach, and the Coco joined Juan Román Riquelme, Carlos Tevez – he was expelled – and the flea, who had scored the 1-0 partial. Darío Bustos -free kick- and Dairo Moreno turned the result around.
The second precedent is the infamous 1-6 against Bolivia on April 1, 2009, with Diego Maradona on the substitute bench. The third game of the 10 at the height it was with another fall: 0-2 in Quito against Ecuador, on June 10, 2009, also with Diego as coach.
On March 26, 2013 Argentina drew with Bolivia 1-1 in La Paz with both from Ever Banega. The then coach Alejandro Sabella he brought out a line of 5 defenders and the result was not bad. “It is tremendous to play here. Some teammates felt dizziness and headaches before the game, but I did not. Only during the game did I feel that common suffocation,” he said. flea after the tie. And three months later, Argentina drew 1-1 against Ecuador in Quito with both Agüero from a penalty. On that day, Messi replaced the When 15 minutes into the second half.
On March 28, 2017, Messi traveled to La Paz but could not play against Bolivia because hours before the game the official sanction that FIFA applied to him for insulting the assistant referee Emerson Augusto de Carvalho during the duel against Chile in the Monumental, March 23. The Selection directed by Edgardo Bauza fell 2-0.
Messi, with his presence at Hernando Siles, will continue to make merits to achieve more records for his record. With the penalty goal against Ecuador in the Candy box he equaled his friend Luis Suárez as the top scorer in the Qualifiers, with 22. Uruguay visits Ecuador on Tuesday. The fight will be goal by goal until the end of the tournament.
In addition, in La Paz the 140th game of Lionel will take place with the Argentina jersey. It is recalled that he is already the third player with the most presence with the blue and white. The first objective will be to overcome Javier Zanetti, who completed 142 duels. And then he will go for Javier Mascherano, who with 147 games is the footballer who played the most in the National Team.
Another brand that Messi is close to is becoming the top scorer for a South American team. On the horizon there is nothing more and nothing less than Pelé. The three-time world champion with Brazil played 92 games with his team and scored 77 goals. Leo accumulates 71 in 139 games.
With the Argentina shirt, Messi has the majority of good games. Other times their performance is not ideal. But it always wants to be. That is why he will face again at the height, this time in La Paz. To continue guiding Argentina on the way to the World Cup in Qatar. And, why not, to continue adding records.