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All eyes on Messi, Argentina in Bolivia

English.news.cn   2013-03-27 09:30:44            

LA PAZ, March 26 (Xinhua) -- Bolivian fans are looking forward to Tuesday's match in their capital La Paz between their national team and Argentina, led by soccer star Lionel Messi.

Fans snapped up 31,000 tickets at the 40,000-seat Hernando Siles Stadium. Though that still leaves quite a few seats empty, the 3.54 million bolivianos (508,000 U.S. dollars) they spent set a record in the history of Bolivian soccer, the Bolivian Football Federation (FBF) said.

The fans are eager to see not just the famed Messi, who currently plays for Barcelona, but also their national team, especially after its historic 6-1 victory over Argentina in qualifying stage for the 2010 World Cup in South Africa, and two-time 1-1 draw with Argentina in their home turf.

Argentina's team arrived Monday night in Santa Cruz, in east Bolivia, where thousands of fans had gathered at Viru Viru International Airport, dressed in the jerseys of Argentina and Barcelona.

Some of the fans crowded into the international arrivals section, while others went to stake out the Sun Hotel, hoping to catch a glimpse of the already legendary Messi.

Bolivia's Spanish coach Xabier Azkagorta will present an offensive tactical scheme, compared to the previous game, which saw Bolivia lose 5-0 to Colombia.

Argentina, which leads the South American qualifying rounds with 23 points after defeating Venezuela 3-0, will try to overcome its losing streak against Bolivia, which it has not been able to defeat in their three games since 2009.

Editor: Tang Danlu
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