Monday Kickoff: Messi ruled out for six to eight weeks; Özil and Mertesacker remain in London; and more

LionelMessiBarcelona1-Espanyol (Getty)

By DAN KARELL

Barcelona’s three-point lead at the top of La Liga became even more tenuous on Monday morning.

The Spanish club announced on Monday following tests that star playmaker Lionel Messi has been diagnosed with a hamstring muscle tear and is set for six to eight weeks on the sidelines. Messi was forced off in the 19th minute of Barcelona’s 4-1 victory at Betis with the injury.

It’s the latest in a string of muscle injuries for Messi, who has been pretty much injury free during his whole professional career. Some reports have stated that Barcelona are giving the press an extended recovery timeline so Messi doesn’t try and rush back from the injury too fast. The injury also keeps Messi out of a pair of international friendlies that Argentina had scheduled to take place in the United States.

Here are some more stories to kick off your week:

ÖZIL AND MERTESACKER REMAIN IN LONDON WITH ILLNESS

It seems that there’s a reason behind the somewhat lackluster play from Mesut Özil on Sunday against Manchester United.

In a press conference in Munich, Germany National Team manager Joachim Löw said that after speaking with the Germany and Arsenal medical staff, it was advised that both Özil and Mertesacker remain back in London, as they are both suffering from flu-like symptoms. The illness kept Mertesacker and his teammate Tomas Rosicky out of the 1-0 defeat in Old Trafford.

Löw didn’t announce a timetable for their return, or whether they would join the German squad for their friendly match this Friday against Italy in Milan. Miroslav Klose is also a doubt for the friendly against Italy and the one the following Tuesday against England because of a shoulder injury.

QUICK KICKS

Barcelona youngster Marc Bartra has been called in to replace the injured Cesc Fabregas in the Spain squad. (REPORT)

Lazio will soon begin negotiations with midfielder Hernanes and his representatives over a new contract. (REPORT)

Reports in France state that former AC Milan legend Paulo Maldini could become the next sporting director at Paris Saint-Germain. (REPORT)

Club Tijuana have parted ways with head coach Jorge Almiron after failing to make the Liga MX Apertura playoffs for the second tournament in a row. (REPORT)

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What do you think of these reports? Do you see Messi returning before Christmas? Do you see Barcelona continuing to win without him? Do you believe that Özil played vs. Manchester United with the flu?

Share your thoughts below.

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10 Responses to Monday Kickoff: Messi ruled out for six to eight weeks; Özil and Mertesacker remain in London; and more

  1. Brian S. says:

    So is there no Americans Abroad recap or announcement of the USMNT roster? What’s happening guys?

    • Sharkbait says:

      I haven’t been a big fan of what’s happened to the site here since Ives started working for Goal.com. I understand it but I don’t like it. Ives’ Americans Abroad recap is up on that site btw.

      • fifawitz1313 says:

        They must be paying him a pretty penny if it has enticed him to abandon his own website, take his best content elsewhere (such as the Americans Abroad Recap), leave his website under the control of people clearly not up to the pressure of running the site, alienate his readers by forcing them onto a website that many of us left because of the terribly childish comment sections, and in the process destroy the community of readers he built, who supported him for years, who invited him and hosted him at tailgates and bars around the country, and generally felt a connection with him on a more personal level than writers on any other soccer website.

        Ives, you went from being the boss, the owner of your own successful website, to being the employee.

        It must be one heck of a pretty penny.

        • OPMG says:

          Although I think you were a little harsh, I tend to agree. I wish there was a way that we could still get Ives’s content on this site. I hate goal.com. It’s the worst for any type of discussion

        • Jamal says:

          OOOOO BUUUURRRRN!!!!!

        • GW says:

          And you pay how much to get on this site?

          You get what you pay for.

          Ives has a career to build and this site has been useful while it lasted but obviously he has better things to do now.

          Build your own site.

          • fifawitz1313 says:

            I pay him with the ad revenue generated from all my visits and clicks. Sure, it may not be a subscription but I am still generating him revenue by coming to the site often. I visit the site probably 4-5 times a day, it is my primary work procrastination tool. Multiply that by 365 and you have me visiting the site and multiple pages probably between 1000 and 1500 times a year (take out a few weekends where I’m not as active). I’m not sure what type of ad revenue model Ives has, but if it is a $ per view model than typically this is $25 per 1000 views. So I’m more than paying him a typical subscription price for content like this. Honestly, I would pay a subscription if it meant continued quality and not having to go to goal.com.

            • Joamiq says:

              You are paying him nothing. In that sense, he owes you nothing. (Obviously there is something to be said for support offered along the way etc.)

  2. Beto says:

    New TJ coach, maybe there is hope for Hometown Joe Corona..

    • Edwin in LA says:

      I hope we get to see Paul Arriola nite often too. Also even more of dire need is a Left Back, so if Greg Garza could get starts that would be great too