Our prediction for this World Cup 2026 match:
Argentina play host to Ecuador at Estadio Monumental in the opening match of their 2026 World Cup qualifying campaign. La Albiceleste continue to rely on Leo Messi, who has been producing excellent displays in MLS ever since he joined Inter Miami and, no doubt, all eyes will be on the “Magician” when Argentina face Ecuador on Friday morning. The likes of Paulo Dybala, Geronimo Rulli, Giovani Lo Celso, and Joaquin Correa have been ruled out with injuries, while Atletico Madrid forward Angel Correa is back.
La Tri, on the other hand, defeated the likes of Australia, Bolivia, and Costa Rica in the last three friendly matches, but they will have a much bigger fish to fry against Leo Messi and Co. Argentina defenders should have Enner Valencia at bay as the 33-year-old striker has netted 40 goals in 79 appearances for the Ecuador national team to date.
Highlighted Player (Lionel Messi):
Lionel Messi is regarded as one of the best players in the history of football. He was born on 24 June, 1987 in Rosario and he began his football career at Newell’s Old Boys. At age 10 he was diagnosed with a growth hormone deficiency, but having realized his potential at a young age, Barcelona decided to pay for his treatment.
Messi joined Barca in 2001 and he has been playing for the Camp Nou outfit ever since. The Argentine magician has won eight La Liga trophies with Barca and he helped the Catalan giants lift no less than four Champions League titles (2005/2006, 2008/2009, 2010/2011, 2014/2015).
In the 2011/2012 La Liga campaign Messi scored 50 goals for Barca, while netting 14 goals in the 2011/2012 Champions League campaign. The five-time Golden Ball award winner has established himself as Barcelona’s all-time top scorer, but he has yet to win a trophy with Argentina national team at major tournaments. Leo Messi, though, has won Olympic Gold Medal (2008) and FIFA World Youth Championship (2005), with la Albiceleste.
Highlighted Team (Ecuador):
Ecuador had endured difficult times in footballing terms having been considered to be one of the more struggling football nations in South America, but the Tri have managed to transform themselves into a team that can never be taken lightly at the international scene.
Ecuador has taken part in three of the 22 World Cups with 12 position they achieved in 2006 in Germany being their best result so far. La Tricolor head into Copa America Centenario tied at the top of CONMEBOL’s World Cup qualifying table and their chances of making it through from group B have been increased with good results and alike performances.
Ivan Hurtado played for El Tri since 1992 to 2014 and former centre-back remains the most capped international with 168 games to his name. Ecuador captain Walter Ayovi is the active player with most games in the national team, while Felipe Caicedo with 19 goals is the top scorer of Gustavo Quinteros’ side.