FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi came into Wednesday’s UEFA Champions League match against Benfica as a second-half substitute, with observers hoping to see him score a record-breaking goal.
What they witnessed instead was Messi going to the ground clutching his left knee, in the kind of pain we just aren’t used to seeing him show. The Argentine goal machine was injured after colliding with goalkeeper Artur in the 85th minute a scoreless draw in a match that mattered little to Barcelona, which had already clinched a place in the Round of 16.
“In principle, it’s just a knock, but we have to wait for results of further tests,” Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova said after the match. “The feeling is it’s not bad, but it’s early.”
Here is video of the injury:
Messi was on the verge of breaking Gerd Muller’s record for goals in a calendar year. He is sitting on 84 goals, and has four more matches in the Spanish First Division to break the record, though just how many of those matches Messi can actually play won’t be known until Messi’s left knee has been thoroughly examined.