Lionel Messi will be traveling with the Argentina squad as it takes its 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign to Bolivia. Following the matchday one win over Ecuador, Messi underwent precautionary tests after he felt something. Despite concerns and questions about his availability, the squad’s captain will be in La Paz. However, there are no guarantees that he will play the full 90 minutes. Head coach Lionel Scaloni will make a final decision on Messi’s status closer to Tuesday’s game.

Unlike many of his teammates, Messi had a shortened offseason. His move from PSG to Inter Miami meant he had just over a month off. By comparison, most of the Argentina squad had a full two months off for their bodies to recuperate. After getting some medical attention on Saturday, Messi trained separately from the majority of the Argentina squad.

Messi scored the game-winning goal against Ecuador with a patented free kick in the 78th minute. His goal-scoring form with Inter Miami has seeped into his performances with the national team. Messi already has 11 goals with Inter Miami. He has helped the side to its first trophy in the inaugural Leagues Cup. Moreover, he is setting the squad up for a dramatic push to reach the MLS Cup Playoffs.

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Inter Miami is certainly keeping tabs on Messi’s status. The club won its only game without the Argentine during this international window against Sporting Kansas City.

Messi in the Argentina squad for Bolivia

Of course, Argentina supporters will be glad to know Messi is available for the Bolivia game. Not only did Messi score the only goal of the game against Ecuador. He had two shots on target and two chances created for Argentina.

Even if there is no guarantee that Messi will play in the 2026 World Cup, his performances are pivotal for Argentina to qualify. He dragged the side to the 2018 World Cup after a dismal qualifying campaign. Then, in the 2022 World Cup, he won the award for player of the tournament.

PHOTO: IMAGO / Sports Press Photo