- All-time great in World Cup qualifying action
- Stepped off the bench for Albiceleste
- Hit the woodwork on two occasions
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner, who is expected to land an eighth Golden Ball in 2023 after inspiring his country to global glory in Qatar, was named among the substitutes for Argentina’s latest 2026 World Cup qualifier.
THE BIGGER PICTURE
He was introduced off the bench early in the second half and did his best to add to an early opening goal from Nicolas Otamendi. Messi struck the woodwork on two occasions, with one of those efforts coming 15 minutes from the end when standing over a set-piece.
DID YOU KNOW?
Messi whipped a delivery over from the right with his famous left foot which swung towards the target and dipped towards the back post. Paraguay goalkeeper Carlos Coronel briefly lost his bearings, as he was caught under the flight of the ball, and all of those in the visiting ranks at Mas Monumental were relieved to see the effort rebound back into play off the frame of the goal.
— Televisión Pública (@TV_Publica) October 13, 2023
WHAT HAPPENS NEXT?
Messi appeared to be in full working order following his introduction off the bench, with the 36-year-old having been nursing an untimely injury. He may have played his last competitive minutes of 2023 for club side Inter Miami, with the MLS franchise having missed out on a place in the play-offs.