Lionel Messi may be the world’s best footballer, but even he could not cope in the high altitude conditions as he drew a blank during Argentina’s 1-1 draw with Bolivia.
Messi and his national team-mates suffered in the testing conditions of La Paz throughout their South American World Cup Qualifying clash in Bolivia, which caused the Barcelona striker to be sick on the pitch.
With the match played 4,000 metres above sea level, a number of La Albiceleste players were troubled by the thin air with Messi’s team-mate Angel Di Maria needing oxygen treatment.
Messi yet again failed to score against Bolivia, and missed a golden opportunity to put the visitors ahead when he was clean through on goal, but the 25-year-old fluffed his lines.
“I hesitated a bit,” Messi told reporters after the game. “It’s terrible playing at altitude.
“After making a move at speed it’s much harder to recover.
“This is a very good point. We knew it was going to be like this.
“We planned it this way with the forwards alone as we tried to get through it. We still haven’t qualified yet, but we are getting closer.”
Argentina are now four points clear at the top of the South American Qualifying table, and look all but set to take their place when neighbours Brazil host the World Cup next year.
The Bolivian country are the only side on the South American continent to have denied Messi a goal, and they gave Argentina a scare by taking the lead last night.