The iconic Lionel Messi had a very up-and-down match on the road at Almeria Saturday.
First, his goal to open the scoring in the 28th minute extended his La Liga record for career away goals with 101, with the former record-holder the Real Madrid legend Hugo Sanchez with 99.
Just following the goal, however, Messi asked to be removed with what appears to be a thigh muscle injury, according to AS. He was replaced by Xavi Hernandez.
Messi isn’t one to ask to be substituted often, although he did miss a bit of time last season with a hamstring injury.
Barcelona have a bit of fixture congestion coming up, so they’ll need Messi as much as possible. They face Celtic in the Champions League midweek on Tuesday, then have three matches in seven days following the early October international break.
If Messi needs time off, manager Gerardo Martino may request he sit for Argentina’s two World Cup qualifiers in early October. Argentina have already secured qualification, although Martino already said he will not hold Messi back from playing if his country wishes he play.