Lionel Messi has suffered a groin injury while representing Argentina against Venezuela.
Lionel Messi wore the captain armband for Argentina, but could not avoid a defeat against Venezuela in a friendly held at Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano on Friday. The 31-year-old decided to play through the pain barrier for the whole game which will now keep him out for the clash against Morocco.
Venezuelan forwards Soloman Rondon and Jhon Murillo scored twice in the first half and the Inter Milan striker Lautaro Martinez pulled one back for Argentina in the 59th minute. Despite piling pressure on the opposition with a constant threat in the offensive part of the game, the Argentine defenders were kept in check on a counter-attack as they buckled under pressure and conceded a penalty in the 75th minute. Josef Martinez scored from the spot-kick to regain the two-goal cushion again.
After the game, Barcelona issued a statement confirming the absence of Lionel Messi for the second international fixture in this break against Morocco at Stade ibn Batouta on Tuesday.
“Lionel Messi did not have the return to international action that he would have wanted, and an injury picked up on Friday night means he will miss Argentina’s game against Morocco on Tuesday.
The FC Barcelona star captained his side and played the entire 90 minutes of the friendly against Venezuela at the Wanda Metropolitano in Madrid, but they would lose 1-3. It was his first appearance since the 2018 World Cup quarter-final loss against France, which was followed by a short-lived international retirement for Argentina’s all-time top goalscorer.
Whilst he would feature from start to finish, a problem with his pubis means that Messi will not play in the second friendly of the international break.”
Barcelona will be cautious with Lionel Messi as the fixtures are coming thick and fast in the remaining part of the season. The Blaugrana are currently ten points above second-placed Atletico Madrid in the league table, while they face Manchester United in the Champions League Quarterfinals.
Valverde will be desperate to see Lionel Messi in full fitness as Luis Suarez is currently on the sidelines, and various reports confirmed that the Uruguayan International will be facing between 10 and 15 days on the treatment table. Barcelona’s number 9 suffered a sprain during the Blaugrana’s 4-1 victory over Real Betis but the club are hopeful to see him fit and firing against Ole Gunnar Solskjaer’s Manchester United on April 10th.
“Tests carried out on Monday morning have confirmed that first team player Luis Suarez has a sprained right ankle,” a statement from Barcelona said on Monday.
“He will be out for 10-15 days and now undertake his recovery with the FC Barcelona medical team, having been withdrawn from the Uruguayan national team squad.”
Barcelona have suffered without the presence of their skipper in front of the goal this campaign. The club will be working to see both Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez feature against Manchester United as the reigning Spanish Champions aim to bring Champions League glory for the first time under Ernesto Valverde.
Here’s how Twitter reacted…
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 22, 2019
🌎⚽ Messi, Umtiti, Semedo, Murillo… find out how our internationals got on today for their respective countries:https://t.co/hfjKCJvBAa
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) March 22, 2019
Argentina go out of the World Cup ❌
Lionel Messi rules himself out of international contention ❌
Lionel Messi ends his exile after six games ❌
Argentina lose to Venezuela and Messi gets injured ❌
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) March 23, 2019
Note: There are no reports on Messi suffering a serious injury, meaning he was sent home as a precaution or it was planned that he would only play 90 minutes with his National Team.
— barcacentre (@barcacentre) March 22, 2019
Messi sacrificing himself to play in a meaningless Argentina friendly and picking an injury is a disgrace. He needs to drop this shit and focus on Barcelona, he has nothing more to gain from playing for his country.
— Rafael Hernández (@RafaelH117) March 22, 2019
Following the International break, Barcelona will take on Espanyol in the La Liga as they strive to lift their fourth league title in five seasons. Ernesto Valverde’s side will take on Manchester United in the Champions League Quarterfinals. The Blaugrana’s arch-rivals and reigning Champions League winners Real Madrid have already bowed out the competition. Barcelona will be looking to take advantage of it and bring back the European glory after a span of four years.