Nov 11, 2013, 9:43 AM EST
Bad news arrived for Barcelona on Monday, as superstar striker Lionel Messi has been ruled out for eight weeks with a hamstring injury.
Messi, the reigning World Player of the Year for a record four years in a row, felt his left hamstring give way during Barca’s 4-1 win over Real Betis on Sunday. The 26-year-old Argentinian forward immediately left the field and tests show the diminutive attacker has torn a muscle in his hamstring and will be out until at least January.
That’s a huge blow for club and country.
Messi is often targeted by opposition defenders, as the tiny magician is arguably the greatest player the world has ever seen. His exploits in recent years has seen him go alongside soccer greats such as Diego Maradona and Pele as geniuses of the game. But his 2013-14 season, and the end of last season, has been disrupted by multiple injuries and this hamstring tear will unfortunately see Messi out of action for quite some time.
Following his injury hit spell to the end of last season, when Barca bandaged him up and threw him into games against Paris Saint-Germain and Bayern Munich in the Champions League, that seems to have had a knock on effect on Messi’s overall fitness and he’s struggled to be 100 percent with it this season. He’s already had two spells out with injury this season, with separate injuries to his right thigh keeping him out for a total of four weeks already.
That said, he’s still scored 14 goals in 14 games this campaign but that’s nowhere near his other returns, in terms of goals scored, in years gone by.
This injury will be a shame for soccer fans across the world as Messi lights up every game he plays in and great hype and anticipation fills every single stadium when his name is read out amongst the team sheets. Barca have already qualified from their UEFA Champions League group and sit comfortably on top of La Liga but Messi’s influence will be sorely missed be Gerardo Martino’s team over November and December. As for Argentina they’ll be hoping Messi’s injury won’t set him back too much as they aim to back waves at the 2104 World Cup in Brazil.
But one man who may benefit from Messi’ injury is Real Madrid and Portugal striker Cristiano Ronaldo.
The 28-year-old attacker has been going toe-for-toe with Messi in the last few years but has finished runner-up to the Argentine three times and now FIFA has adopted the Ballon D’or to be awarded to the worlds best player. Is Cristiano about to get his hands on the coveted accolade for the first-time since 2008? I think so.
Messi is out of commission until the new year, which leaves Ronaldo with a clear run at claiming the headlines across the globe. On Saturday against Real Sociedad Ronaldo bagged his fourth hat-trick of the season in all competitions as he’s now netted 16 goals in 13 La Liga matches and 27 goals in 19 games this campaign for Madrid and Portugal.
If he keeps that form up there’s no doubt in my mind he will win the FIFA World Player of the Year gong, something he may have deserved regardless of Messi’s injury.
But it does seem as though Messi’s untimely drop in fitness has not only cost himself playing time and a chance to wrack up more record breaking stats, but also a chance to win an unprecedented fifth consecutive World Player of the Year award.
For the next few months, it’s over to you Cristiano.
Dec 26, 2014, 11:42 PM EST
Chelsea players weren’t happy with the weekend training schedule, so Mourinho fixed it for them. Now it’s even worse.
Dec 26, 2014, 10:15 PM EST
Neil Warnock is reportedly close to becoming the first managing casualty of the 2014-15 Premier League season.
Dec 26, 2014, 7:00 PM EST
11 names make up one team after half of the 2014-15 Premier League season.
Dec 26, 2014, 5:58 PM EST
“I believe that Cristiano will finish his career at Real Madrid.”
Dec 26, 2014, 4:31 PM EST
Many high-flying striker arrivals in MLS can be met by a fair bit of caution, but Vancouver should be quite dangerous if Rivero can make it work.
Dec 26, 2014, 4:26 PM EST
Ronald Koeman is happy to be back in a Champions League place, but sees long road ahead for Southampton.
Dec 26, 2014, 3:45 PM EST
Brendan Rodgers feels Liverpool’s Old Trafford defeat may have been a turning point in the Reds’ season.
Dec 26, 2014, 3:19 PM EST
The Red Devils scored three but could’ve netted quite a few more in an easy win over Newcastle United on Boxing Day.
Dec 26, 2014, 2:30 PM EST
Recaps, reaction, analysis and more from all 10 games in the PL on Boxing Day.
Dec 26, 2014, 2:23 PM EST
The Gunners climbed to within two points of fourth-place Southampton.
Dec 26, 2014, 2:00 PM EST
Citizens not thinking about Chelsea, as their rampage continues.
Dec 26, 2014, 1:50 PM EST
The loss allowed Stoke to climb above the Toffees, who sit in 12th place.
Dec 26, 2014, 1:40 PM EST
New injury for Argentine ace, who suffers another setback.
Dec 26, 2014, 1:05 PM EST
Chelsea skipper, manager delighted with spirit.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:42 PM EST
Plenty of Premier League and Major League Soccer names are at play in today’s rumor mill.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:20 PM EST
Potters seal vital win, as Toffees lose two-straight for the first-time this season.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
Citizens stroll to victory in snowy conditions.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:11 PM EST
Goals from Gaston Ramirez and James Chester allowed Hull City to make up for an ugly first-minute embarrassment and pull them out of the relegation zone.
Dec 26, 2014, 12:03 PM EST
Another set-piece beauty from Gylfi Sigurdsson put Swansea through for their first back-to-back wins since August.
Dec 26, 2014, 11:59 AM EST
Lloris was called upon several times late, and even bloodied by a late charge, but preserved the win.
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