This is just horrendous. Lionel Messi was substituted into a meaningless Champions League match vs. Benfica on Wednesday and, as he broke free to possibly score what could’ve tied the all-time calendar-year goals record (Gerd Muller, 85, 1972), he went down clutching his knee.
Looked to this fanboy like his cleat dug into the turf when he got nudged by Benfica’s keeper but then continued to at least take a shot at goal before going down. (As in, he knew he was hurt but wanted to take one last try in case the injury keeps him out for a few games.) Then, he was carted off the field.
Early reports out of Catalonia are that Messi is back at the practice facility this morning but will be monitored for possible clearance for Saturday’s match vs. Betis.
“Tests carried out tonight have confirmed that the player has a bruising of the bone on the outside of the left knee,” Barcelona said. “The rate of his recovery will determine whether he will be available for the next game, on Sunday against Real Betis.”
A statement on the Barça website explained: “After beating the offside trap Messi tried to dribble round opposing keeper Artur, who dealt him a blow, but Messi continued with the move. After shooting with his left foot the player fell to the ground with pain in his left knee.”
His health > the record. This is an incontrovertible fact.
But, of course I was curious enough to check the schedule to see how many games were left on this year’s schedule. There are five (the 9th, 12th, 16th, 18th and 22nd). We’ll see how it plays out.