Belfast Telegraph

Lionel Messi sick on pitch after struggling to breathe during World Cup qualifier

By Simon Rice

It's said that losing makes Lionel Messi sick. And so does high altitude it would seem after the Argentina forward suffered during his side's 1-1 draw with Bolivia.


The Barcelona forward was reportedly sick on the pitch during last night's World Cup qualifier in La Paz as he struggled with the thin air. The ground is nearly 4,000 metres above sea level.

Messi was not alone in suffering with the conditions. Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria had to be given oxygen during the game.

Bolivia went ahead in the match after Marcelo Martin's headed effort after 25 minutes. However, Messi was well enough to create the equaliser for Argentina after he beat two defenders before feeding the ball to Clemente Rodriguez whose cross was scored by Ever Banega.

Yet perhaps the conditions took their toll on Messi who fluffed a good opportunity late in the match when through on goal.

Messi is known for suffering following defeat. After his side lost to Real Madrid earlier this season, he was unable to report to training due to a fever. It was not the first time either. When Chelsea beat Barcelona 1-0 at Stamford Bridge and then his side lost to Real three days later, there was a similar no-show at training the following day, this time put down to gastric trouble.

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