BUENOS AIRES (AP) — Lionel Messi and his Argentina lineup will be back on World Cup duty this week, when their bid to defend the title starts in South American qualifying.
Argentina will face Moisés Caicedo’s Ecuador on Thursday at the Monumental de Nuñez Stadium in its first official match since winning the World cup in December.
The last time a World Cup winner played in South American qualifying was in 2003, when Brazil had to secure its spot in a tournament with 32 teams.
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