Due to an injury, Paris Saint-Germain striker Lionel Messi will not play in his team’s Champions League match against Benfica later today. He also missed the weekend Ligue 1 tie vs Reims.
During last week’s match in Lisbon against the Portuguese team, Messi sustained a calf injury. He was replaced right away by Christophe Galtier, the PSG manager.
Although they first downplayed the severity of the injury, the Argentine was absent from the weekend’s goalless stalemate at Reims.
But Messi, though, won’t just be absent from the rematch with Benfica; the French club is also concerned about whether the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner will be able to make it back in time for Le Classique on Sunday, when they play fierce rivals Marseille.
“During the first match against Benfica, Leo experienced calf pain,” according to Galtier on Monday.
“We all anticipated that he would be able to participate in the second game, but things are still not quite ready.
There are only six days in total between them. We’re going to watch how it develops during the week, and it’s very likely that he’ll be available for Marseille.
He’s a lot better, but he still has that feeling that may be troublesome in a game of this magnitude.”
With the World Cup rapidly approaching and most probably being Messi’s last, it is understandable that the 35-year-old is reluctant to take chances before making his final effort at football’s top prize with an Argentina team that is in strong form.
With seven points, PSG leads Group H, tied with Benfica, while Juventus are third, four points behind. If PSG wins, they will almost certainly advance to the knockout rounds.
The hosts’ lineup at Parc des Princes will also be without Presnel Kimpembe, Nuno Mendes, and Renato Sanches.
Neymar, who was only used as a substitute at the weekend, is expected to start again and will work alongside Kylian Mbappe to spearhead the assault.
The bond between the French phenom and the Brazilian superstar is still a topic of discussion.
The technical relationship between Ney and Mbappé exists, albeit not quite convincingly and concentrating on the on-field side of their partnership.
The stats demonstrate that it performs well. But without other variables in their play, it would be too simple for their adversaries to shut them down. They must look globally for solutions.
This season, PSG is attempting to win the Champions League for the first time in franchise history, and Messi is vying for a fifth championship after winning it four times with Barcelona.
Given that the Argentine’s current contract is set to expire at the conclusion of this season, speculation about his long-term future in the French city has increased once more.
Reports suggest he has no plans to stay at PSG any longer. Instead, a stunning return to Barcelona has been mentioned.