Will Lionel Messi play for Argentina against Ecuador? Journalist provides update

Argentina captain Lionel Messi
Argentina captain Lionel Messi

Journalist Gaston Edul reckons Argentina captain Lionel Messi is all set to play the friendly with Ecuador on Sunday (June 9). The two sides meet in Solder Field in Chicago.

Messi, 36, has missed Los Albiceleste's both friendlies in 2024 - a 3-0 win over Salvador and a 3-1 win over Costa Rica - due to injuries. He has also missed five games across competitions for Inter Miami, this season, raising doubts over his participation in the two friendlies lined up before Copa America 2024.

However, Edul has seemingly allayed those concerns, saying (as per Albiceleste Talk) that Messi is set to start against Ecuador:

"Messi wants to play all minutes, all games for the National Team. I've no doubt that he will start in the friendly against Ecuador on Sunday.

The 2022 FIFA World Cup winner is in impressive form in club football this season despite an injury-plagued start. In 15 games across competitions, he has bagged 14 goals and 11 assists.

Most of those goal contributions - 12 goals and nine assists in 12 games - have come in MLS, where Tata Martino's side are atop the Eastern Conference after 18 outings.

How has Argentina captain Lionel Messi fared against Ecuador?

Argentina captain Lionel Messi
Argentina captain Lionel Messi

Argentina captain Lionel Messi has had nine games against Ecuador since his Albiceleste senior debut in 2005. The eight-time Ballon d'Or winner has bagged seven goals and three assists.

After drawing blanks in his first two meetings, Messi scored and assisted in a 4-0 home win in a 2014 FIFA World Cup qualifier. The Argentine then scored all three goals in a 3-1 away win in a 2018 FIFA World Cup qualifier.

Messi scored again in a 1-0 home win in a 2022 FIFA World Cup qualifier. He had an involvement in all three goals - scoring once and assisting twice - as Argentina beat Ecuador 3-1 in the quarterfinals in their victorious Copa America 2021 campaign in Brazil.

His last goal against Ecuador came in a 1-0 home win in a 2026 FIFA World Cup qualifier in August.

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