Lionel Messi was rested for the Argentine world champions' trip to Bolivia in La Paz on Tuesday, for the second day of South American qualifying for the 2026 World Cup. The seven-time Ballon d'Or had been the savior of his team Thursday against Ecuador, scoring a superb free kick which gave victory to the Albiceleste (1-0). He was then replaced three minutes from the end of the match. Messi then admitted to being “a little tired”, and coach Lionel Scaloni said that Messi himself had asked to go out.
The 36-year-old playmaker remains on a string of twelve matches in the last 49 days, eleven with his club Inter Miami and one with the selection.