As Argentina attempt to climb the World Cup qualifying ranks in Tuesday’s duel with Bolivia in Cordoba, the Albiceleste may be saying goodbye to veteran defender Martin Demichelis.
The 35-year-old Manchester City star, who’s claimed 49 caps during his long international career, said recently that due to his age and perhaps declining skill he may call it quits after the tie with ninth-place Bolivia.
“I'm not physically ill, but I know that there are new players. The coach has to have an eye on the project,” Demichelis said. “The truth is that for me the next World Cup is far for my body and my mind. All this makes me say that this may be my last game. And if it is my last will be the best place for me, which is Cordoba, where I played a few times.”
Argentina still will be glad to have Demichelis with both Ramiro Funes Mori and Nicolas Otamendi each suspended for the CONMEBOL clash. Head coach Gerardo Martino’s side sit in fifth place on the qualifying table with eight points, technically knotted with Brazil and Paraguay, but slipping back due to goal differential.
The lack of scoring falls on both Lionel Messi and Sergio Aguero, Argentina’s two best scorers, but the latter could find himself out of the lineup after failing to convert several excellent chances in last week’s 2-1 triumph over Chile.
Still, Bolivia rests way back in ninth place following their 3-2 heartbreaker against Colombia last week and Julio Cesar Baldivieso’s side haven’t truly tested Argentina in decades.
The Albiceleste haven’t lost to Bolivia since 2009, and only three times total since 1979 with two straight wins totaling 12 goals to none, in friendly action last year.
The Bolivians will also be shorthanded as defender Edward Zenteno and forward Damian Lizio sit out due to suspensions.
Start Time: 7:30 p.m. ET
TV Channel: beIN Sport en Espanol
Live Stream: beIN Sport Connect USA