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Nicolas Otamendi wore the Argentina national team captain’s cap for the first half and the first seven minutes of the second on Thursday, starting three minutes from time in the clash against Paraguay for the third round of the qualifiers. Marker with an aesthetic volley with his right foot after a set play.
The defender defined him as a forward A center kicked Rodrigo DePaul Left outside the six yard box and into space. Paraguay’s goalkeeper had no chance. Carlos Coronel, Should make it 1-0.
It was Nico’s first goal in Lionel Scaloni’s rotation and his fifth in a national team shirt:
*2/9/2011 – Friendly: 1-0 to Venezuela
*10/6/2016 – Copa America Centenario: 5-0 – Panama
*6/9/2016 – Qualification: 2-2 vs. Venezuela
*3/27/2018 – Friendly: 1-6 vs. Spain
*10/12/2023 – Eligibility: vs. Paraguay
Atomendi started as captain this Thursday, with Lionel Messi absent from the starting line-up, who wears the ribbon whenever he plays, and Angel Di Maria absent due to injury, usually ‘sub-captain’.
When Messi came on, seven minutes into the second half, the number 10 gave it to him, despite telling him to keep it. Ota insisted: He didn’t want to keep something that belonged to Leo, without room for debate.
Atomendi’s goal would end up being the only goal of the game. With the win, the Albiceleste kept a perfect score in these qualifiers for the 2026 World Cup after winning their first two games against Ecuador and Bolivia. The match against Guarani was played at the Monumental Stadium in Buenos Aires.