The Argentine national team won 1-0 against Ecuador in the first leg of the 2026 FIFA North American World Cup South American qualifying round at Estadio Monumental in Buenos Aires, Argentina, at 9 a.m. on the 8th. 스포츠토토 Argentina led the game based on an overwhelming ball share, but rarely scored.
The savior was Messi again this time. Messi, who had a free-kick chance in front of the penalty arc in the 33rd minute of the second half, immediately connected it with a shot and poked the ball into the top corner of the goal. Messi, who started the game with Nicolas González and Lautaro Martínez, left the stadium in the 44th minute of the second half as a substitute for Ezekiel Palacios.
Messi played for 89 minutes, scoring four dribbles, two opportunities, and nine passes to the attacking area in addition to one goal, showing his best performance this time. According to a report by Britain’s Sports Kida after the game, Messi directly asked manager Lionel Scaloni to replace him. Coach Scaloni said, Messie has asked for a replacement. If he didn’t, he would have played full time.
Sports Kida also delivered an interview with Messi, who said, I was a little tired, so I asked for a replacement. Perhaps this is not the last time a replacement is demanded at the end of the game. I’m just a little tired. Everything is fine, he said, adding that he is now at an age where it is difficult to play full-time in every game.
Messi is famous for his dislike of finishing early with a replacement out. In the past, when he played for FC Barcelona, he expressed frustration and dissatisfaction when Luis Enrique ordered a replacement, and in 2021, when he played for Paris Saint-Germain PSG, he refused to shake hands when Mauricio Pochettino ordered a replacement.
Messi, who wanted to play full-time in every game, is already 36 years old. Messi, who is quite old to play as an active player, said in person, This is not the last time I ask for a replacement like this, hinting that he will finish the game with a replacement more often in the future.