Argentina kicked off their qualifying campaign for the 2026 World Cup against Ecuador, as they look to defend their championship in the United States, Mexico, and Canada. However, the big question is whether Lionel Messi will play vs Bolivia in Argentina’s next game.

On Thursday, Lionel Messi scored another amazing goal for his nation only five games after winning the sport’s most prestigious trophy. After making the transition to Major League Soccer with Inter Miami, the 36-year-old shows no signs of slowing down.

On Thursday night, Le Albiceleste was having trouble scoring against a resolute Ecuador team, but he came through with a classic free kick. The goalie was trapped in the center of his goal and unable to do anything about it. Messi scored the game-winning goal in the 78th minute and immediately ran to the sideline to celebrate.

What did Lionel Scaloni say about whether Messi will play vs Bolivia?

Therefore, it was noted and cause for alarm all around the globe when he was taken off the field just 10 minutes later. Fans of the superstar and the Argentine national team were understandably concerned.

Lionel Scaloni, the team’s coach, said at a press conference that the decision to take the team’s star player and captain off wasn’t made for tactical reasons but rather because he was ‘feeling something.’ Just that one phrase set off a frenzy of conjecture regarding the severity of Messi’s injury and its potential repercussions for Inter Miami and the Argentine national team.

What did Tata Martino say?

Bolivia hosts Argentina on Tuesday, a challenging voyage given the country’s high altitude. Messi is expected to return to South Florida after the international break, where he will join a number of teammates who will be away for the match against Sporting Kansas City.

“It does not seem like anything important. Some symptoms of fatigue, at least that’s the information we have. We will know more today”, Inter Miami boss Tata Martino revealed. He also expressed skepticism when asked whether he thought the superstar would cancel his trip to La Paz and instead rejoin the club.

“I wouldn’t venture to say as of now. It is early. Today could be an important day [regarding that decision], but I don’t imagine so if he has a chance to play against Bolivia”, he said, via ESPN.

Photo: IMAGO / NurPhoto