If reports in Spain are to be believed, Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been playing for the Catalans despite a thigh injury. Considering Barcelona’s lack of attacking options courtesy of Luis Suarez’s injury, Messi has decided to play despite injury issues.
According to ESPN, club sources have revealed that the injury is not severe, but there is clarity on the matter that the player needs to handle the situation carefully. Despite injury issues, Messi has been performing exceptionally well for the defending LaLiga Champions.
It is reported that a managerial change at the club has had a negatively impact on Lionel Messi’s fitness. Sessions under Quique Setien are more intense, which do not resemble the training methods of former manager Ernesto Valverde. Some players like Messi feel fatigue more than others and there are problems which need to be sorted.
Lionel Messi cannot afford to miss out of the team as the club is already without the services of Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele. While Suarez had undergone surgery to get rid of his knee issues, which could see him out for atleast four months. On the other hand, Dembele sustained a hamstring injury in training and will likely be out for the rest of the season.
Quique Setien is left with limited options in the attack, with Antoine Griezmann, Lionel Messi and 17-year-old Ansu Fati as the only options to play for the defending LaLiga Champions. Dembele has been out since November due to a hamstring injury and recent tests reveal that his injury has aggravated. He has missed out on 63 games for the Catalans since his expensive transfer from Borussia Dortmund in 2017.
Lionel Messi has been in a phenomenal form this season for Barcelona. The six-time Ballon d'Or winner has managed to score 19 goals along with 12 assists in 24 games across all competitions. His side is trailing with a three-point deficit over league leaders Real Madrid and will next play against Athletic Bilbao on Thursday (Friday IST) in the quarter-final of Copa del Rey.