Lionel Messi: Marcelo Bielsa Explains How to Stop Ballon d’Or Winner Ahead of Argentina vs Uruguay

Lionel Messi: Marcelo Bielsa Explains How to Stop Ballon d’Or Winner Ahead of Argentina vs Uruguay

Elijah Odetokun
updated at November 11, 2023 at 4:08 AM
In this article:
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Inter Miami CF logoFArgentina logo
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FIFA World Cup
  • Argentina will host Uruguay in the 2026 World Cup qualifier at La Bombonera
  • Inter Miami star Lionel Messi has been named in Lionel Scaloni's squad for the games
  • Uruguay coach Marcelo Bielsa has Messi in his thoughts on how to stop him

Uruguay national team head coach Marcelo Bielsa has shared his thoughts on how to stop Lionel Messi during their 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier game.

Argentina will host Uruguay before travelling to Brazil in the final international games of the year as they seek to maintain their winning run in the qualifying series.

La Albiceleste have won their four games and are top of the table, but the games against second and third provide a real test in the qualifiers, having played lower-ranked teams earlier.

Lionel Messi, Argentina, Lima, Peru.
Lionel Messi in action for Argentina in the 2-0 win over Peru. Photo by Mariano Bazo.
Source: Getty Images

Messi was named in Lionel Scaloni's 28-man squad for the games and is expected to feature crucially in both games, having overcome his worrying fitness issue of the past months.

Bielsa on how to stop Messi

The question of how to stop Messi gets thrown at the manager of every club or national team facing him. El Loco was not an exception during his press conference, as quoted by AlbicelesteTalk.

“There is no formula to stop Messi. Sometimes, you will have to ask him what would be convenient to try to stop him from playing well. Maybe this is good for football, that the best player in the world shines despite the formulas,” he said.

The world champions have won four of the last six games against their visitors, with the other two ending in draws. Per Ai Score, the last time Uruguay beat Argentina was in 2013 during the 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifiers.

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Messi compares Argentina to Guardiola's Barcelona

Sports Brief reported on Messi comparing Argentina to Guardiola's Barcelona after yet another impressive performance from the world champions.

Barca, under Guardiola between 2008 and 2012, is regarded as one of the best teams ever, and the Inter Miami star thinks it's a lot, but his current Argentina side are very close to 'prime' Barcelona.

Elijah Odetokun photo
Elijah Odetokun
Elijah Odetokun is Reuters-trained journalist with three years of experience having previously worked at Daily Times Nigeria, OmaSports and El Futbolero.