Wednesday Kickoff: Barca plays down Messi injury; Kroos could miss two months; and more

MessiHoldingHamstring (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

The look on Lionel Messi’s face at the end of Tuesday’s 2-2 draw between Barcelona and Paris Saint-Germain just about said it all.

The Argentine native limped off the field at halftime and didn’t return for the start of the second half, being replaced by Cesc Fabregas for the last 45 minutes of the match. Messi was seen clutching the back of his right leg, and is set to undergo tests back in Barcelona on Wednesday. Despite this, Barcelona assistant coach Jordi Roura has played down the scale of the injury.

“Messi has a small hamstring problem,” Roura said after the match to The Telegraph. “We will find out more about the injury on Wednesday.”

Javier Mascherano was also injured in the match against PSG and had to be stretchered off in the 86th minute. After the match, Mascherano was diagnosed with a torn MCL in his right knee, ruling him out for four to six weeks.

Here are some more stories to get your Wednesday started:

KROOS LIKELY OUT FOR REST OF THE SEASON

Bayern Munich midfielder Toni Kroos could miss the rest of the season, after picking up a serious injury in the first 14 minutes of Tuesday’s 2-0 win over Juventus in the Champions League.

Kroos and opposite number Stephan Lichtsteiner were battling for the ball, when Kroos pulled up clutching his left leg, before eventually falling to the turf in pain. He was replaced in the 16th minute by Arjen Robben, and after the match team doctors confirmed that Kroos had suffered a hip muscle tear that will keep him sidelined for six to eight weeks.

The German international has made 36 appearances for Bayern in all competitions this season, scoring nine goals and adding eight assists.

VELEZ SARSFIELD QUALIFIES FOR KNOCKOUT ROUND

With the international break over, continental competitions have resumed, including the Copa Libertadores.

On Tuesday evening, Velez Sarsfield of Argentina booked a place in the knockout stages, defeating Deportes Iquique 3-1, eliminating the Chilean side from advancing. Velez got off to a quick start when Sebastian Dominguez hit a 35-yard free kick that took a deflection, wrong-footing Iquique goalkeeper Rodrigo Naranjo and rolling into the back of the net.

Velez hit their second in the 19th minute, with Lucas Romero shooting inside the near post from the top of the box. Iquique were awarded a penalty for a push in the box just a moment later, but Velez goalkeeper Sebastian Sosa saved the penalty kick. Iquique hit back with a Manuel Villalobos goal in the 39th minute , but the Argentine club added a third in the 51st minute from Jonathan Copete to end any chance of a comeback.

Around the continent, Paraguayan club Cerro Porteño lost their fourth match of the tournament, eliminating them from the next round with a 1-0 defeat to Santa Fe of Colombia. Colombian side Deportes Tolima beat Peru’s Real Garcilaso 3-0, Emelec of Ecuador defeated Uruguayan club Peñarol 2-0, and Brazilian side Palmeiras defeated Tigre of Argentina 2-0.

QUICK KICK

FIFA has selected German-based company GoalControl for goal-line technology at the upcoming Confederations Cup and World Cup in Brazil. (REPORT)

Italian club Cagliari are moving out of the Is Arenas Stadium despite moving in at the beginning of the season, due to safety issues. (REPORT)

Ronaldinho, Neymar, and Pato have all been called up for Brazil’s upcoming charity friendly match against Bolivia. (REPORT)

Former England goalkeeper David James has become a player-coach at Icelandic club IBV. (REPORT)

Manchester City forward Carlos Tevez has avoided jail time, but will have to complete 250 hours of community service for driving with a suspended license. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Messi playing in the return leg? Do you believe Bayern can overcome the Kroos injury?

Share your thoughts below.

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16 Responses to Wednesday Kickoff: Barca plays down Messi injury; Kroos could miss two months; and more

  1. Michael F. SBI Mafia Oriinal says:

    I hope Messi recovers in time. Barca was such a different team without him. And how do the Ref and Linesman both miss two PSG players being offsides on Ibra’s goal?

    • Spectra says:

      Because it’s incredible difficult to see that in real time. there was a deflected shot that hit the post and then a scrum to get a shot off by Ibra. He was offside but don’t think just because you saw it in slow motion doesn’t mean it was easy for the linesman to see.

  2. Dinho says:

    So, Brazil is calling up a couple of their U-20 players for their friendly against Bolivia.

    It would be interesting if Jurgen did that with Joya, Villarreal and Cuevas in a friendly to see how they do on the big stage. Maybe against Germany? (read: will never happen)

    • Clyde Frog says:

      Keep in mind Brazil don’t have to go through qualifying. They have a lot more room for experimenting.

      • Dinho says:

        I get it. It’s not going to happen, but wouldn’t it be interesting to see these kids play against Belgium?

    • Kevin H says:

      Brazil also aren’t playing a top 3 team in preparation for WCQ. The context is very different.

      • Edwin in LA says:

        I agree….plus Brazil is well….Brazil they kinda are a WEE bit deeper than the USMNT in player pool and talent

        • Dinho says:

          But, isn’t that even more reason to give a couple kids a chance to shine in a friendly that means nothing?

  3. Jacknut says:

    It’s sad to see a great club like Barca reduced to ripping off the 1970s Astros for jersey designs.

  4. MiamiAl says:

    Losing Kroos is a very big loss for Bayern.