Soccer Star Lionel Messi Tears Knee Ligament, Out for 7-8 Weeks – Wall Street Journal

FC Barcelona star forward Lionel Messi lies in pain following his knee injury during the Spanish first-division match against Las Palmas on Saturday.
ENLARGE

BARCELONA, Spain—FC Barcelona soccer star Lionel Messi tore a ligament in his left knee during the defending champion’s Spanish league match against Las Palmas on Saturday.

Barcelona confirmed the injury after Messi had tests at a nearby Barcelona hospital. The club said it expects him to be out of action for seven to eight weeks.

Messi went down after colliding with Las Palmas defender Pedro Bigas in the third minute of play. He writhed on the ground in front of the Las Palmas goal before play was stopped.

Following medical attention, the Argentina star went back onto the pitch, but asked to be replaced in the eighth minute, after carefully trotting around and testing his leg with a pair of passes.

Messi walked off by himself as Munir El Haddadi replaced the four-time world player of the year in front of a quiet Camp Nou crowd of almost 75,000.

Spanish television showed images of Messi leaving the hospital with a limp as he got into a car.


His teammates showed their concern after the final whistle of the 2-1 victory over Las Palmas. “He is the best player in th world, so of course we will notice his absence,” Barcelona midfielder Sergio Busquets said after the match.

Among several other matches, Messi will miss the first so-called “clasico” match of the season against rival Real Madrid on Nov. 21.

Messi was limited by a persistent series of hamstring injuries during 2013, but returned to his best form last season, scoring 58 goals.

The 28-year-old Messi led Barcelona to a sweep of Europe’s Champions League, the Spanish league and the Copa del Rey titles last season. He is the all-time highest scorer for Barcelona and has scored more goals in the Spanish league than anyone.

Barcelona already has lost midfielder Rafina to a ligament tear for an expected six months.

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