Messi to travel with Argentina for WC qualifier against Bolivia

IANS Photo

IANS Photo

Buenos Aires, September 11 (IANS): Lionel Messi will travel with Argentina's squad for their World Cup qualifier against Bolivia in La Paz, Albiceleste manager Lionel Scaloni said.

Messi trained separately from his teammates on Sunday after being withdrawn late in Argentina's 1-0 home win over Ecuador in their opening South American zone qualifier on Thursday, reports Xinhua.

Tests on Friday cleared the Inter Miami forward of injury but Scaloni is considering resting the 36-year-old amid concerns over his heavy recent workload.

"He is going to travel," Scaloni told a news conference. "Today he trained apart [from the main squad]. There are still two days left until the game. We will make the decision tomorrow or on Tuesday."

Messi has played 12 games in 48 days, having barely rested since joining Inter Miami on a free transfer in mid-July.

The clash against Bolivia on Tuesday will be particularly taxing given the rarefied air of La Paz's Hernando Siles stadium, at an altitude of more than 3,600 meters above sea level.

Apart from the possible exclusion of Messi and defender Cristian Romero, who suffered a minor right leg injury against Ecuador, Scaloni said he would make few changes to Argentina's starting lineup.

"We all know how difficult it is to play at that altitude, but the team will basically be the same as it was against Ecuador," he said.