Ernesto Valverde Delivers His Verdict On Lionel Messi’s Injury

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has remained calm about the ongoing injury concern to star forward Lionel Messi. The Argentina international missed the friendlies against Italy and Spain during the break with a hamstring niggle and he is now said to be doubt for the La Liga outing against Sevilla this weekend.

Speaking in a press conference, Valverde stressed that he is not worried about the situation concerning the club’s leading forward, he said: “I’m calm about Messi’s injury. Tomorrow we will see how he feels. Messi finished the last game with Athletic well, it is true that he had a little trouble, but it was nothing important. I still do not know what we are going to do, we think and hope it is not important.We are not going to worry before time, when the doctors see him we will decide the steps to follow, but we think it is not important”.

Aside from Messi, goalkeeper Marc-Andre Ter Stegen is also expected to have fitness tests after picking up a knee injury on international duty with Germany. Barcelona currently have a comfortable 11-point gap over Atletico Madrid with just nine games left in the season, and Valverde could take the option of rotating the squad this weekend with a view to the Roma game in midweek.

The Blaugrana entertain the Giallorossi in the Champions League quarter-final first-leg on Wednesday night, and the priority might be on having Lionel Messi return for the European showdown. Alongside Real Madrid, the Catalan giants are regarded by many as the favourites to win the elite competition this term, though they may face competition from Pep Guardiola’s Manchester City, who are at least the front-runners, as per the bookmakers.

The Citizens are on course to celebrate a domestic double with the Premier League title within their grasp, and this may allow them to prioritise the Champions League, where they face-off against league rivals Liverpool in the quarter-final stage.