Lionel Messi missed Barcelona’s 3-0 semifinal win over Guangzhou Evergrande on Thursday in Japan in the FIFA Club World Cup.
The Argentine ace, 28, was absent after suffering from renal colic which is a type of abdominal pain commonly linked with kidney stones.
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With Neymar already out injured, losing Messi — who only returned from a lengthy knee injury last month — will be a blow to Barca both for the Club World Cup final on Sunday and before the winter break arrives in Spain.
The Catalan side were without a win in three games heading into Thursday’s match-up against the Chinese outfit but even without Neymar and Messi, Barca handled their opponents comfortably as Luis Suarez stepped up and scored a hat trick to send them through to the final.
In a statement the club said the following on Messi’s injury as he remains a major doubt to face River Plate in the final on Sunday in Yokohama.
Leo Messi will not be playing in today’s Club World Cup semi-final against Guangzhou Evergrande. The Argentinian striker is suffering from renal colic, a type of abdominal pain commonly caused by kidney stones, and will be absent for the kick-off against the Asian champions. His future availability will depend on the outcome of further medical tests.