Word spreading rapidly across the European media on Sunday afternoon suggests that Lionel Messi will play no part in Barcelona’s next outing.
Barca host Eibar
The Blaugrana are set to return to action following the Christmas break on Tuesday evening.
Ronald Koeman’s men will welcome struggling Eibar to the Camp Nou, for their latest La Liga outing.
Barca will of course head into proceedings hoping to keep alive their positive bre-break form, which saw the Catalans pick up three wins from their last four, including a 3-0 downing of Real Valladolid last time out.
The star of the Blaugrana show versus Valladolid unsurprisingly came in the form of captain and main man Lionel Messi, who set up Clement Lenglet for the game’s opener, before making history with his 644th goal in the colours of his long-time club:
Lionel Messi makes HISTORY! 🚨
Goal No. 644 sees him overtake Pele 🙌
“Nobody in the history of this wonderful game has ever scored as many goals for the same club as Lionel Messi.” 🗣 pic.twitter.com/jXiXB1aQvI
— Premier Sports 📺 (@PremierSportsTV) December 22, 2020
Messi misses out
As outlined above, however, if the latest word doing the rounds in the media on Sunday is to be believed, then Barca’s captain will play no part in the club’s meeting with Eibar in 48 hours’ time.
This comes amid claims that Messi is in fact still in Argentina.
The 33-year-old is said to have been granted an extended festive break, to spend time with his family.
In turn, with the blessing of Ronald Koeman and co., Messi will fly back to Catalunya on Wednesday, before returning to training with the rest of the club’s first-team squad over the days that follow.
A return to the pitch at Huesca next weekend is therefore likely to follow.
Messi rimanda il ritorno a Barcellona: salta la sfida contro l’Eibar https://t.co/ms7bbnA3UV
— Repubblica (@repubblica) December 27, 2020
*Update* – Barcelona have since released an official statement, confirming that Messi will indeed play no part versus Eibar.
The La Liga giants, however, cite ‘the completion of treatment of his right ankle’ as the reason for the veteran attacker’s impending absence:
📋 COMUNICADO MÉDICO | Messi
El futbolista argentino está completando el tratamiento de su tobillo derecho
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona_es) December 27, 2020