Argentina maintained their 100% record so far at the 2022 World Cup qualifiers as they defeated Bolivia 2-1 on Tuesday night. Argentina had to play under adverse climatic conditions at a much higher altitude than normal. Playing in Bolivia has always been challenging for visiting footballers, including Lionel Messi and co.
The venue, Estadio Hernando Siles, is located in La Paz, which is the world's highest capital city. Despite all the obstacles, the Argentines secured a crucial win that added a broad smile to Messi's face. However, the 33-year old seemed extremely angry after the game ended.
Although Messi couldn't make it to the scorers' list, he did make headlines on Tuesday. The Argentine superstar took centre stage during a quarrel between the two teams right after the full-time whistle.
Messi was celebrating with his teammates and staff members when a fracas broke between the sides, and words were exchanged between players. As seen in the footage, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner was aiming his angry comments at Marcelo Martins Moreno and Bolivia staff member Lucas Nava.
Although Messi's voice couldn't be heard on the footage, Argentine sports channel TyC Sports attempted to lip-read the superstar and published a projected translation of the same on Twitter.
According to Give Me Sport, Messi is quoted as saying, "La C*** de tu Madre. ¿Que pasa, pelado?" which approximately means: "The c*** of your mother. What's up, punk?"
Again, Messi is quoted as remarking, "Estuviste gritando todo el partido, boludo. Para que haces quilombo? Desde el banco estas gritandome todo el partido."
That translates roughly, "You were screaming the whole game, j*rk. What are you making trouble for? From the bench, you were yelling at me the whole game."
No statement has been received so far from the FC Barcelona captain. The heat was soaring inside the stadium as the hosts were desperate to finish the match with maximum points. But Argentina registered their first victory in Bolivia in the last 15 years.
They had last won a game against Bolivia in La Paz in 2005 when Messi wasn't a part of the squad yet. In 2009, under Diego Maradona's coaching, the two-time world champions had suffered a humiliating 1-6 defeat at the same ground.
Back in 2013, Messi ended up vomiting and Angel Di Maria required oxygen while playing in such high altitude. After all, footballers do not normally get to play at 3,640-metre elevation.
Even in Tuesday's match, it was Bolivia who took the early lead, courtesy of Moreno's strike in the 24th minute. But Inter Milan's Lautaro Martinez levelled the score before half-time. Then, Joaquin Correa's 79th-minute strike sealed the vital win for the visitors.