There was Lionel Messi, sitting one goal away from tying Gerd Mueller’s all-time record of 85 in a calendar year. Emphasis on sitting. See, with Barcelona already qualified for the knockout round, coach Tito Vilanova chose to leave his star in the training area at the start of the match.
But the will of the people demanded Messi play, and Vilanova acquiesed, inserting his charge in at the 58th minute.
Disaster struck in the 85th minute after the forward crashed into Benfica goalkeeper Artur and went down clutching his left knee. He was taken off the field in a stretcher.
Luckily, early word is that he’s fine.
Messi: apparently the first impressions are that is nothing serious. But lets see what medical report says
— Guillem Balague (@GuillemBalague) December 5, 2012
Messi has a bruise on the outside of his left knee. He’ll undergo further tests to determine the exact extent of the injury. #FCBLive
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 5, 2012
We hope that’s the case. A footballing world without Messi is no fun at all.
Happier times: Let’s watch Messi score five in a CL match earlier this year.