The altitude of La Paz is too much for this Argentine soccer star.
Lionel Messi vomited in the locker room at halftime Tuesday during Argentina’s World Cup qualifying game against Bolivia in the nearly 12,000-foot high city of La Paz, Spanish newswire EFE reports.
The world’s greatest soccer player obviously wasn’t feeling too hot, periodically bending over to catch his breath. He missed a clear opportunity to score, which some observers chalked up to his lack of oxygen.
Messi wasn’t alone. His teammate Ángel Di María had to lay down and breath through an oxygen mask, after succumbing to the pressure of the high altitude of the altiplano.
Argentina wound up tying Bolivia 1 to 1.
FIFA changed its rules in 2007 to allow Bolivia to host World Cup qualifying rounds, despite the high altitude.
It wasn’t the first time Messi’s thrown up during a game. Last year during a match between Barcelona and Real Madrid, Messi hurled right on the pitch at Santiago Bernabéu stadium. Unphased, he went on to score a much-needed goal, leading to a 2-2 tie.
CORRECTION: A previous version of this story mislabeled the location of La Paz.