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INJURY

Injury to sideline Messi for six to eight weeks

Barcelona's Argentine star Lionel Messi will be sidelined for 6-8 weeks due to a muscle tear in his left hamstring muscle, the Spanish giants said on Monday.

Injury to sideline Messi for six to eight weeks
File photo: Franck Fife/AFP

The 26-year-old limped off after just 20 minutes of Barcelona's 4-1 win over Real Betis on Sunday, the third time this season that he has been forced off with a muscular problem following hamstring and thigh injuries in his right leg earlier in the campaign.

"The club's medical services confirmed after tests this Monday morning that Leo Messi has a torn hamstring muscle in his left thigh and is expected to miss the next 6 to 8 weeks," Barcelona said in a statement."

The first phase of Messi's recovery will be covered in Barcelona and he will then travel to Buenos Aires," it added.

After Sunday's match Barcelona boss Gerardo Martino said Messi's injury troubles were not related and the absence of the four-time World Player of the Year could never be used as en excuse for the team to not perform.

"We have the best player in the world, but we also have four or five of the next six or seven best players in the world. Therefore, as a coach, the absence of Messi should never be used as an excuse for not winning.

"The injury to Messi doesn't have anything to do with the previous ones because it is in the other leg," he added.

Despite losing Messi with the score still at 0-0, Barca cruised to victory as two goals in two minutes from Neymar and Pedro Rodriguez put them 2-0 up at the break.

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FOOTBALL

‘Diego is eternal’: Messi pays tribute to Maradona

Lionel Messi paid tribute to Diego Maradona on Wednesday by calling him "eternal" after his fellow Argentine died of a heart attack.

'Diego is eternal': Messi pays tribute to Maradona
Diego Maradona hugs Lionel Messi after 2010 World Cup quarter final Argentina vs Germany. Photo: AFP

“A very sad day for all Argentines and football,” Messi wrote on Instagram. “He has left us but he will never leave us because Diego is eternal. I will keep all the beautiful moments that I lived with him and would like to send my condolences to all his family and friends. RIP.”

 
 
 

 
 
 
 
 

 
 

 
 
 

 
 

A post shared by Leo Messi (@leomessi)

Messi and Maradona have often been compared in the debate about who was the greatest footballer of all time.

Both players are icons in Argentina and have been likened to each other due to their global status, dribbling style and famous number 10 shirts.    

Maradona was also Messi's coach during his brief time in charge of the national team, which included Argentina being thrashed by Germany in the 2010 World Cup quarter-finals.


A banner held up during 2014 FIFA World Cup on June 25, 2014. Photo: AFP

 

Maradona spent two years at Barcelona, where Messi is now captain and the club's all-time top scorer, although Maradona's greatest years were spent with Napoli in Italy.

Asked about Maradona in 2010, Messi said: “Even if I played for a million years, I'd never come close to Maradona. Not that I'd want to anyway. He's the greatest there's ever been.”

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