Lionel Messi’s situation at Barcelona is becoming clear with each passing day, and the end result may not delight Barcelona fans. Yesterday was another example of the same, as Messi picked up a red card – his first in club football history, in 753 appearances with Barcelona – after a moment of aggressiveness as he was slapped the back of the head of Asier Villalibre in the 120th minute.
The act probably stemmed from a moment of frustration after his team went 3-2 down in extra-time after giving up their lead, twice, in one game. This coupled with the team’s history in the Champions League in the last three years, and Messi’s transfer saga in the summer, the string was bound to break lose at some point. An embarrassing act, nonetheless.
However, it stands as further proof that we might not see the club-captain in the coming seasons at Camp Nou. The Argentine’s transfer was blocked by Josep Bartomeu in the summer when Manchester City came calling for him, but with Messi free to negotiate with any team now, there might be more than a handful ready for his signature, with Paris Saint-Germain among the favourites.
So much so, PSG Sporting Director Leonardo went on record during an interview with France Football, and said, “We’re following Messi’s situation closely.”
Neymar has already spoken about his desire to re-unite with Messi on the pitch, and that dream might not come true at Barcelona, owing to the club’s sensationally unstable financial situation. PSG, though, can afford Messi. Leonardo knows about the same, and did not shy away from telling that to the world.
“Great players like Messi will always be on PSG’s list, but of course, this is not the time to talk or dream about it. But we’re following his situation closely.”
Manchester City and Paris Saint-Germain will likely go head-to-head in the battle for Messi’s #10 jersey at their club, but we can expect the likes of Manchester United, Inter Milan, or Juventus to be hot on their heels for the six-time Ballon d’Or winner.
Official: Barcelona confirm Pedri muscular injury
All victories come with a cost and Barcelona’s great triumph over Sevilla is no exception. Sadly, the Catalans’ young prodigy, Pedri, had to leave the pitch in the second half of the clash and now, the club has officially confirmed that the 18-year-old had sustained a muscular injury.
As of right now, however, we still don’t know how serious it is and we’ll have to wait for further information, which is most likely to arrive tomorrow. Unfortunately, the early speculations are not good as it seems Pedri could indeed be out of commission for a couple of weeks at least.
Needless to say, that’s a huge hit for Barcelona since the schedule is unrelenting. Soon, it will be time to face Sevilla again in the Copa del Rey and also Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League. Doing so without Pedri could indeed be troublesome.
But we also have to wonder how did it come to this injury. The 18-year-old is a key member of the squad so it’s understandable Ronald Koeman would want him to play all the time.
However, that might be the very crux of the problem too. With so little rest in-between the games, it was just a matter of time before Pedri’s body could take no more.
Still, not all is lost and he should be back in time to help Barcelona finish the season strong. And besides, now the youngster can finally get some well-deserved rest.
Hopefully the team can manage without him for a short period of time.