Lionel Messi has touched back down in Barcelona after pulling out of the Argentina squad due to injury.
The talisman had made his much anticipated return to the national set-up in a friendly with Venezuela, but his comeback was dampened as Argentina fell to a 3-1 defeat.
Salomon Rondon’s strike in the sixth minute got things off to a bad start, before Jhon Murillo doubled the lead and Josef Martinez scored a third.
Lautaro Martinez pulled a goal back for Argentina but it wasn’t enough, though Messi was able to get through the full-match despite his injury concern.
Thankfully for the five-times Ballon d’Or winner, the trip back to Barcelona was only a short one, given Argentina’s clash had been held in Atletico Madrid’s Wanda Metropolitano stadium.
After discussions with the team doctor and manager Lionel Scaloni, it was agreed that he would will Argentina’s friendly with Morocco in in order to get treatment at Barca.
Initial reports suggest that his withdrawal should not affect his participation in the title run in with Barcelona, and he should be fit to face local rivals Espanyol on March 30th.
Barca hold a 10-point lead at the top of La Liga, but have a big April ahead of them as they take on Atletico Madrid in the league and then face Manchester United home and away in the Champions League last eight.
Messi is extremely unlikely to miss any of those games due to his current injury. Barcelona released a statement on their own website, which read:
‘Lionel Messi did not have the return to international action that he would have wanted, and an injury picked up on Friday night means he will miss Argentina’s game against Morocco on Tuesday.’