Lionel Messi and Co Suffer in BoliviaMarch 27, 2013
Argentinian football superstar Lionel Messi and his teammates were left gasping for air, and even vomiting, in Bolivia on Tuesday night.
Bolivia, although not known for their footballing prowess have always had a highly respectable home record. This is due, in no small part, to the fact they play their games at 13,000 feet above sea level. Their home stadium, Estadio Hernando Siles, situated in La Paz has come under major scrutiny for being so high above seas level that opposition players suffer from altitude sickness.
Back in 2007 FIFA actually banned the stadium from being used for World Cup Qualifying matches, claiming the home team were given an unfair advantage over the opposing players. The ban lasted just over a month, after campaigners including Bolivian president Evo Morales and Argentine football legend Diego Maradona successfully defended the iconic stadium.
Last night many of the Argentinian national team including Real Madrid’s wing wizard Angel Di Maria had to be administered oxygen on the pitch.
Argentinian captain Lionel Messi said: ‘It is terrible to play here at altitude, so a draw is a good result for us. Every time you make an effort or play at high pace, you need time to recover. Some of the players had a headache and others felt a bit dizzy, but there was nothing wrong with me.’
The game ended in a 1-1 draw.