Jun 10, 2024, Posted by: Lila Mwangi

Argentina vs. Ecuador: Lionel Messi's Comeback and Copa America Preparations in Friendly Clash


On June 9, soccer fans worldwide tuned in to Soldier Field in Chicago, Illinois, to watch an international friendly match between Argentina and Ecuador. This game was not just another friendly; it carried special significance as it marked the return of Lionel Messi to the Argentina squad after a hamstring injury.


Lionel Messi's return to the national team has been highly anticipated. The Argentinian superstar last played for his country in their 1-0 victory over Brazil in a World Cup qualifying match at the iconic Maracana Stadium in Rio de Janeiro. This victory was monumental as it marked Brazil's first-ever home loss in World Cup qualifying history. Considering Messi's influence on the pitch, Argentina's manager, Lionel Scaloni, aimed to manage his playing time carefully in this friendly to ensure he could participate fully in the upcoming Copa America tournament.

Argentina's Journey

Argentina has been gearing up for the Copa America, and this match against Ecuador was part of their comprehensive preparation strategy. The squad featured a robust lineup, signaling their intent to fine-tune also their gameplay ahead of the major tournament. Fans were excited to see players like Martinez, Molina, Romero, Martinez, Barco, Mac Allister, De Paul, Palacios, Messi, Alvarez, and Garnacho getting ready for action.

Ecuador's Form

Ecuador has also been a formidable force since the previous summer, showing solid form in World Cup qualifying rounds with a record of three wins, two draws, and one loss. They came into this friendly with a strong predicted starting XI, including Dominguez, Torres, Pacho, Hincapie, Preciado, Caicedo, Franco, Paez, Minda, Valencia, and Rodriguez.

The Match Highlights

The Match Highlights

The game kicked off at 6:00 p.m. local time, and fans witnessed a high-stakes encounter. The pitch was filled with energy as players from both teams showcased their skills in what promised to be a thrilling contest. Argentina, with Messi back in the fold, aimed to dominate possession and create opportunities, while Ecuador leveraged their defensive solidity and quick counter-attacks.

Messi's Performance

All eyes were on Lionel Messi, and the superstar did not disappoint. Despite having been out due to injury, Messi displayed his trademark vision and precision, feeding key passes to his teammates and continually threatening Ecuador's defense. Scaloni's strategy of managing Messi's playtime saw him participating for the first half, ensuring he could gradually build up his stamina for the Copa America.

Ecuador's Efforts

Ecuador, on the other hand, showcased their defensive resilience and quick transitions. They managed to hold their own against Argentina's star-studded lineup, with efforts led by players like Caicedo and Valencia creating notable scares for the Argentinian defense. Ecuador's performance indicated they are not to be underestimated in the forthcoming Copa America.

Broadcast and Coverage

The game was available for live coverage provided by The Sporting News. Fans in the USA could stream the match via Fubo and Fox Deportes, with other regions having their access options as well. This accessibility allowed fans globally to witness Messi's return and both teams' strategies as they prepared for one of the biggest tournaments in South America.



As the final whistle blew, the match served its purpose of fine-tuning both teams and offering a preview of what to expect in the Copa America. While friendly matches don't always matter in the grand scheme, the return of Lionel Messi added a layer of excitement and anticipation for the upcoming tournament. Both Argentina and Ecuador left the field with valuable insights and experiences, ready to take on the challenges that lie ahead in the Copa America.

As we look forward to the Copa America, this match has surely set the tone, allowing fans to witness competitive spirit, strategic gameplay, and the magic of Lionel Messi once more.


Lila Mwangi

Lila Mwangi

I am a journalist with a keen interest in covering the intricate details of daily events across Africa. My work focuses on delivering accurate and insightful news reports. Each day, I strive to bring light to the stories that shape our continent's narrative. My passion for digging deeper into issues helps in crafting stories that not only inform but also provoke thought.

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