Injury rules out Lionel Messi before historic goal-record – Barcelona dread losing points
Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova decided to rest Lionel Messi on the bench for the final group match of Champions League. However, the Camp Nou boss called in the Argentine forward during the second half in place of Rafinha as Barcelona pushed for a victory.
Unfortunately, Tito Vilanova’s decision was marked with ill-fate. With five minutes left on the clock, the score still at 0-0, Lionel Messi went down with his knee in his hands following a collision with Benfica’s goalkeeper Artur.
The Ballon d’Or favorite clutched his knee in pain as medics ran from the sidelines to tend the football icon. Eventually, the 25-year-old Argentina international had to stretchered off the Camp Nou pitch
The match ended goalless, but that wasn’t the real blow for the Blaugrana. Barcelona had already qualified for the Knockout Stage of the Champions League, which is why Tito Vilanova decided to feature a relatively new team.
Barcelona’s relatively younger squad were unable to break the deadlock against Benfica, so Tito Vilanova decided to go in for the kill by calling upon his top gun Lionel Messi.
The goalless draw condemned Benfica to the Europa League. Meanwhile, Celtic defeated Spartak Moscow 2-1 to become the second team to advance from the group.
Barcelona and Lionel Messi fans expected Wednesday night to be the historic moment when Lionel Messi would equal or better the record for the most goals in a calendar year. Presently, German legend Gerd Muller is proud owner of the record with 85 goals.
Lionel Messi is just a goal away from equaling Gerd Muller’s record, which means the Argentine football prodigy still has a good chance of breaking the record.
There are no updates about Lionel Messi’s injury yet, however, analysts expect him to be out for a fortnight at least. This means Barcelona could lose valuable points in La Liga if they hand in a lack lustrous performance.
Barcelona will be on the road against fourth placed Real Betis on December 9 before hosting second placed Atletico Madrid, who are just six points away from them, on December 16.