Messi ‘needs space’ as Barcelona reject rumours of fall-out

Messi Close Up

Argentina superstar is low after his injury, confirms his team-mate Gerard Pique

Barcelona have gone to some pretty extraordinary lengths to quell speculation that Lionel Messi has fallen out with the club’s medical staff following his injury.

Four-time world player of the year Messi is facing up to eight weeks on the sidelines after suffering a hamstring injury against Real Betis on Sunday, his third such setback this season.

Barcelona assigned Luis Garcia, who is not affiliated with the club, to work with Messi on his recovery, prompting a wave of rumours in Spain that the attacker had fallen out with the staff.

However, Barcelona, perhaps sensing that Europe’s club are ready to pounce on the superstar should he become available, were quick to deny such gossip. Sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said in a statement on Thursday that Garcia is ‘well known’ to the medical staff.

Additionally, a statement from Messi Management read: “The process of recovery from the injury suffered last Sunday began on Monday. This injury, although of the same type and to the same leg, is not related to any previous ones.

“Being a player of the Associacion de Futbol Argentino (AFA), and having games programmed with the national team, the licensed kinesiologist Dr Luis Garcia arrived yesterday in Barcelona to represent the national team, to monitor the injury, and to know the state and scope of the same.

“Barca’s medical services, as always, are those who take charge of accompanying him and treating him, like any other player at the club in other occasions.

“So they will be supervising his injury during the whole process, including when Leo travels to Argentina during the Christmas period.

“We want to deny completely the information published in some media, and confirm the comments of different club figures.”

That comes as Messi’s team-mate, Gerard Pique, said the Argentine ‘needs space’ to recover, and is ‘feeling low’.

Pique said: “He is feeling low but that's normal. It is a serious injury. His spirits will improve in a matter of days but right now it is logical that he feels a certain psychological fatigue.

“When you get injured you need some space and that's the case with Leo who has had several injuries in a row.”

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