Touch And Go For Injured Messi
07 December 2012
Lionel Messi has not missed a football match through injury since September 2010, but it is touch and go as to whether or not he will play for Barcelona against Real Betis in La Liga on Sunday.
La Pulga Atomica was carried off the pitch on a stretcher after coming on as a second-half substitute against Benfica in the Champions league this week, and sustaining a knock to his knee.
Messi, who is now nursing a bruised and swollen knee, was in evident pain at the time. And he admits he feared the worst as he lay crumpled in a heap.
"I feel fine, luckily it was only a bang," Messi told reporters on Thursday night.
"At the time I thought the worst because of the pain. When they examined me and discarded the idea of a serious injury, I was calmer."
Recalling the instant he was injured, Messi said it was still in his mind to try and score, despite the pain.
"I thought it would be the last ball I would touch for a long time. Despite the pain I tried to play on and hit (the ball)," he said.
Messi knows that Barca have often been accused of being essentially a one-man team, but he insists that if he is forced to miss out on the Betis game, the Blaugrana will prove their strength in depth.
"I do not know if I will be there on Sunday, it depends on how it improves. The team will go on the same with or without me. We have plenty of other players," he said.
Meanwhile, the whole world may have thought instantly of Messi’s dwindling opportunities to equal or surpass Gerd Muller’s calendar year scoring record, when he was carried into the treatment room.
But Messi, who needs just one goal to tie Muller’s incredible 85-goal milestone, insists that breaking the record is not one of his priorities in football or life.
"Muller's record is not an obsession for me,” he said.
“It would be nice to break it, because the record has been there for many years. If it happens then good, but there is no problem if not."