Lionel Messi set for Barcelona return
Barcelona talisman Lionel Messi is tired of his injury spell. The Argentinean hit-man has wished 2014 to be an injury-free year for him. Messi, who hasn’t played since being taken off the pitch in 21st minute against Real Betis on November 10, is expected to return for Barcelona’s first game after the New Year, which will be a home game against Elche on January 5.
Injuries followed Messi throughout 2013. Since picking up a thigh muscle injury in April of 2013 the Argentina international hasn’t been able to show full fitness although he continued to play for Barcelona. Finally in October it was decided that it would perhaps be best if Messi was sent back home in Argentina to rest.
In an interview to DeporTV show Mundo Leo, Messi expressed that he would like to be in full fitness throughout 2014.
“There are many important things on a personal level, but in sport for 2014 I would ask for a year without injuries,” Messi said. “The objective now is to get ready physically -- and the idea is to play a few practice games with my teammates before playing [competitively] again.”
The likelihood of Messi making a quick return for Barcelona is quite unlikely. Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino is expected to slowly ease him back into action. Messi could make a substitute appearance in the Copa del Rey against Getafe on January 8 before making a full return against Atletico Madrid in a game that would decide the leaders of La Liga.
Messi confirmed that he was in no hurry to return to action and that he would like to settle down and regain full fitness rather risk another injury. The Argentina captain also has the responsibility of leading his nation to glory at the World Cup during the summers, which is why Messi will try to take as much rest as possible.
“After spending new year with my people, I'm flying to Barcelona on Jan. 1 and we'll then have to see when I'll be fit to make my return,” Messi added.