Will Messi play in Argentina vs. Paraguay qualifier of South American World Cup?

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Messi to play in Paraguay World Cup qualifier?. A recent return to training and club action has left Lionel Messi’s participation in Argentina’s South American World Cup qualifier against Paraguay in doubt. 

According to Lionel Scaloni, the 36-year-old star player is uncertain of his readiness for the crucial match.

Messi to play in Paraguay World Cup qualifier?. In Major League Soccer last Saturday, Messi returned from an injury layoff by playing 37 minutes as a second-half substitute for Inter Miami. His limited playing time since early September, combined with an injury sustained during international duty last month, raise questions about his fitness.

He looked good, so we’ll see the rest of the team based on that. We still have one more training session, and it’s important for him. I need to talk it over with him and be sure we’re convinced he can play.

As part of their decision, the coach also considered the upcoming match against Peru in Lima just five days later.

The Argentines have performed well in previous qualifiers, winning both games and sharing the top spot with Brazil.

As a backup to Messi, Scaloni could start Manchester City striker Julian Alvarez and Inter Milan’s Lautaro Martinez. It would not be a problem. They are different, but they can play together.” Scaloni said. “They’ve already played together as starters. I am open to many options. It will depend on the match. It won’t be a problem. They’ve already played together as starters.”

As for Paraguay, they have had a modest start to their qualification campaign with only one point from their first four games, currently occupying the sixth spot, which grants automatic qualification for 2026.

Venezuela will be hosted by Brazil in Cuiaba on Thursday. Brazil will face a resilient Venezuelan team under interim coach Fernando Diniz. The Brazilian midfielder Casemiro stressed the importance of respecting opponents, noting that South American football is not easy.

“This will be a difficult game. Venezuela has many players playing in Europe, quality players. The most important thing is respect.” said Casemiro.

On Tuesday, Brazil will face Uruguay in Montevideo, further testing their adaptability under a new coach.

Also playing on Thursday are Colombia’s match against Uruguay, Bolivia’s match against Ecuador, and Peru’s match against Chile. On the road to the 2026 World Cup, South America’s World Cup qualifiers offer thrilling matchups and intense competition.

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