Barcelona lost what could have been a good opportunity to advance towards the final. Instead, Lionel Messi got injured and the game with Atletico Madrid ended with a draw. Messi, on the other hand, will return after three weeks.
Messi limped slowly out of the field after suffering a ruptured adductor in his groin. The injury happened during the crucial hour mark. With Messi out of the game, Madrid rallied to stop Barcelona who seemed to have lost their morale after the star player exited.
Before the injury, Messi rallied his team in the 14th minute of the game as Atletico tried hard to keep Barcelona from scoring. After half-time, however, the twists began to unfold as Sergio Busquets exited because of injury followed by Messi’s.
In a report by The Independent, Barcelona manager Luis Enrique puts in words what the rest of the team feels by saying that “football loses” with Messi gone. However, he assured that the team will “continue to be strong” despite the loss. He added that the team has to find other ways how to be strong.
With the Champions League fast approaching, all pressure is on the Argentinian player to get better in time for their face-off with Manchester City on October 19 at the Nou Camp. Before that, however, the team is also facing more losses in the La Liga games. This also means that rival Real Madrid will gain more ground although they also ended their game with Villareal with a 1 -1 score.
Although he will be able to play in the face-off, Messi will miss other important games where his presence and gameplay are much-needed. This includes Barcelona’s match with Monchengladbach next week and Argentina’s World Cup bid against Peru and Paraguay in October. Add to that the league matches against Celta Vigo and Sporting Gijon.
Fellow Atletico player Luis Suarez believes that despite this setback, the team can come through and claim victory just like they did last season when Messi had suffered a hamstring injury. At that time, Suarez and Neymar inspired the team to claim eight victories even without Messi.
Photo Courtesy: Sebi Rivas/Flickr