If your team is just a few more games away from wresting the title in Europe’s penultimate league championship and your star player – who also happens to be the team talisman and captain, not to mention also being arguably the hottest playmaker on the planet – is sitting on the sidelines during training nursing a foot injury with the next impending big clash against the best performing team in the continent just days away, you’d be sweating profusely, too.
Such was the anxiety in the Bracelona training camp as Lionel Messi reportedly sat out their training session on Sunday due to the foot injury he sustained in their victory over Napoli in the last 16 of the Champions League where the Argentine was largely instrumental in their 3-1 win over a hard-pressing and dominant Italian outfit in the second leg of the tie at the Nou Camp on Saturday, effectively setting them up for a do-or-die quarter-final clash with Bundesliga champs Bayern Munich this week.
Unfortunately Messi got a vicious knock on the ankle when Kalidou Koulibaly caught his foot while attempting to clear the ball with a humdinger of a right kick and the Barca skipper was forced to sit out the training on Sunday, according to Spanish outlet Cope.
It should come as a big relief to the club and the fans that Messi’s training sit-out was reportedly only a precautionary measure with him possibly also missing Monday’s session but is expected to play against the Bundesliga title holders. Coach Quique Setien has insisted Messi would be fit and ready for the last-eight clash following their 4-2 aggregate win over Napoli last week.
‘Messi? He had some pain, but there shouldn’t be a problem. He was fine. We will analyse it, but there won’t be a problem,’ he said.
Barcelona will unquestionably need maestro, magician and muse, Messi, to be at his quintessential best when they come up against an impeccably in-form Bayern Munich side, who thrashed Chelsea 7-1 on aggregate to progress in the Champions League.