Lionel Messi will travel with Argentina but the World Cup qualifier against Bolivia is uncertain

Lionel Messi will travel with Argentina to Bolivia for Tuesday’s South American World Cup qualifier, but his presence on the pitch remains uncertain.

Argentina coach Lionel Scaloni said he hoped to make a decision on Monday whether to play the Inter Miami star.

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The world champions began their qualifying campaign with a 1-0 win against Ecuador thanks to a Messi goal. The 36-year-old captain of Argentina scored from a direct kick.

Messi was fine to travel, Scaloni said at a press conference on Sunday. He did not rule out that he will decide on the striker’s presence in La Paz on the same day of the match.

“Leo was tired the other day and they asked him to replace him,” Scaloni said. “But there’s no need for us to talk to him before games. We see how it goes.’

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Scaloni said he would like to play the same team that beat Ecuador in Buenos Aires, but Argentina may require changes to play more than 3,000 meters above sea level.

Bolivia lost 5-1 to Brazil in their first World Cup qualifier on Friday.

The 2026 World Cup in the United States, Mexico and Canada is expanding to a 48-team format. The top six positions in South America will secure a direct seat. The team from seventh place will fight for advancement in the intercontinental playoff.

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