Argentina players have been inhaling oxygen to prepare for game in La Paz, it's the only places where Lionel Messi can't cope
| Last updated
Argentina's World Cup winning players have been given their own oxygen tubes to help cope with the high altitude ahead of their clash with Bolivia on Tuesday.
The World Cup qualifying clash will take place 3,637 metres above sea level at the Hernando Siles Stadium in La Paz, one of the highest professional stadiums on the planet.
As a result of the stadium's unique location, players have been given personal oxygen tanks to ensure they are able to catch their breath.
The Bolivian stadium was briefly unable to host qualifiers after FIFA banned stadiums at a height of over 2,500 metres due to concerns that visiting sides had little time to adjust to the unusual conditions, but the iconic setting was soon given a special exemption.
It is not the first time an international team has been seen using oxygen in the area, with the Brazil team also pictured with their own tanks back in 2017. Neymar later slammed the conditions as 'inhumane', with former teammate Lionel Messi now subject to the same harsh environmnent.
And the altitude may prove too much for the seven-time Ballon d'Or winner, who is already a fitness concern for La Albiceleste manager Lionel Scaloni.
Messi was substituted in the 89th minute of Argentina's 1-0 win over Ecuador on Thursday after scoring a late free kick, with Scaloni confirming after the game that Messi had "felt something" and requested to come off.
The Inter Miami star was later seen leaving IMAXE medical centre on Saturday after undergoing precautionary tests.
However, the former Barcelona man is still in contention to face Bolivia, with Scaloni saying that a decision will be made on Monday.
"Messi is going to travel to Bolivia," Scaloni told reporters. "Today he trained differently, but there are still two days left until the game and we will make the decision tomorrow whether he plays or not.
"The team is going to be similar to the one that played against Ecuador."