Argentina Vs. Bolivia Live, CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying: Hack-A-Messi In Full Effect

The referees in South America are a little different than the referees in Spain. They don't let fouls go to the extent of English or American referees, but they are considerably more lenient than officials in La Liga. This is true in two respects: They call less fouls and they'll allow for more fouls before they give a yellow card. Lionel Messi is Argentina's best player on the pitch yet again, and Bolivia have trouble marking him. The combination of these factors leads to a very cynical, but effective strategy: The Hack-A-Messi.

Little Lionel has been fouled approximately eleventy billion times in the first 35 minutes of this match. Every time he gets somewhere between 25 and 35 yards away from goal with the ball, he gets hacked at. Bolivia is doing it in such a way that they don't pick up bookings by the bushel. It's actually quite brilliant. Terrible anti-football, no doubt, but brilliant nonetheless.

It's 0-0 in the first half, if you didn't figure that out.

We'll have live coverage of this match and all of the other games in South America in our CONMEBOL World Cup 2014 Qualifying, Matchday 3 StoryStream. For more on the entire world of football, visit SB Nation Soccer.

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