Lionel Messi

AFP

Barca have resources to combat missing Messi – Luis Enrique

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona coach Luis Enrique insists his star-studded squad can cope without Lionel Messi for the next three weeks, but claimed the Argentine's absence is "terrible" for football.

Messi will miss Barca's trips to Sporting Gijon, Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League and Celta Vigo in the next week due to a groin strain.

Barca will miss injured Messi – Zidane

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Madrid (AFP) Real Madrid coach Zinedine Zidane insists it is obvious rivals Barcelona will miss the injured Lionel Messi during a three-week layoff, but has injury concerns of his own ahead of Saturday's trip to Las Palmas.

The five-time World Player of the Year is set to be sidelined for Barca's trips to Sporting Gijon, Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League and Celta Vigo in the next week due to a groin strain.

Messi set on coming back even stronger

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Madrid (AFP) Five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi insists he will bounceback "even stronger" from a groin injury that is set to keep him sidelined for three weeks.

Messi limped off after an hour of Barca's 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday and is expected to miss Barca's next three games at Sporting Gijon, Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League and Celta Vigo.

Messi set on coming back even stronger

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Madrid (AFP) Five-time World Player of the Year Lionel Messi insists he will bounceback "even stronger" from a groin injury that is set to keep him sidelined for three weeks.

Messi limped off after an hour of Barca's 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid on Wednesday and is expected to miss Barca's next three games at Sporting Gijon, Borussia Moenchengladbach in the Champions League and Celta Vigo.

Messi out for three weeks as Atletico hold Barca

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi will miss the next three weeks after suffering the recurrence of a groin injury as Atletico Madrid came from behind to hold Barcelona 1-1 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Ivan Rakitic headed Barca into the lead just before half-time, but Angel Correa slotted home on the hour mark just seconds after Messi limped off to hand Atletico a deserved point.

Messi out for three weeks as Atletico hold Barca

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi will miss the next three weeks after suffering the recurrence of a groin injury as Atletico Madrid came from behind to hold Barcelona 1-1 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Ivan Rakitic headed Barca into the lead just before half-time, but Angel Correa slotted home on the hour mark just seconds after Messi limped off to hand Atletico a deserved point.

Messi out for three weeks with groin injury – club

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona star Lionel Messi will be sidelined for the next three weeks due to a groin strain, dealing a huge blow to his club and country.

"Leo Messi has a groin strain in his right leg and he will be out for around three weeks," Barcelona said in a statement.

Messi limped off just before the hour mark of the Spanish champions' 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Messi out for three weeks with groin injury – club

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona star Lionel Messi will be sidelined for the next three weeks due to a groin strain, dealing a huge blow to his club and country.

"Leo Messi has a groin strain in his right leg and he will be out for around three weeks," Barcelona said in a statement.

Messi limped off just before the hour mark of the Spanish champions' 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

Messi injured as Atletico hold Barcelona

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi was forced off with the apparent recurrence of a groin injury as Atletico Madrid came from behind to hold Barcelona 1-1 at the Camp Nou on Wednesday.

Ivan Rakitic headed Barca into the lead just before half-time, but Angel Correa slotted home on the hour mark just seconds after Messi limped off to hand Atletico a deserved point.

Injured Messi forced out of Atletico clash

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi appeared to suffer the recurrence of a groin strain as he limped off early in the second-half of Barcelona's crunch La Liga clash with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

The five-time World Player of the Year missed Argentina's World Cup qualifier with Venezuela earlier this month due to the problem and only started Barca's shock 2-1 defeat to Alaves 10 days ago on the bench as coach Luis Enrique bedded him back into action gently.

De Bruyne second only to Messi – Guardiola

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Manchester (United Kingdom) (AFP) Kevin De Bruyne is second only to Lionel Messi, Manchester City manager Pep Guardiola said on Saturday after the Belgian inspired his team to a 4-0 win over Bournemouth.

Bruyne put the Premier League leaders ahead with a clever 15th-minute free-kick beneath the defensive wall and also played a part in goals for Kelechi Iheanacho, Raheem Sterling and Ilkay Gundogan.

Barca’s MSN sinks Celtic, deluge washes out City

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Paris (AFP) Barcelona's lethal MSN Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar dissected Celtic 7-0 while a deluge washed out Pep Guardiola's eagerly awaited first Champions League game in charge of Manchester City on Tuesday.

There was no rain but there was a flood of goals at the Camp Nou, where a sparkling Messi hat-trick with four assists and a goal from Neymar, Andres Iniesta and a Suarez brace humiliated Celtic.

Barca’s MSN sinks Celtic, deluge washes out City

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Paris (AFP) Barcelona's lethal MSN Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar dissected Celtic 7-0 while a deluge washed out Pep Guardiola's eagerly awaited first Champions League game in charge of Manchester City on Tuesday.

There was no rain but there was a flood of goals at the Camp Nou, where a sparkling Messi hat-trick with four assists and a goal from Neymar, Andres Iniesta and a Suarez brace humiliated Celtic.

Messi hat-trick as Barca hit Celtic for seven

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi bagged a hat-trick and Neymar grabbed four assists as Barcelona launched their Champions League campaign in style with a 7-0 thrashing of Celtic on Tuesday.

Messi and Neymar were reunited with Luis Suarez from the start for the first time this season and took no time in getting reacquainted as all three were on the scoresheet.

Barca stunned by Alaves, Ronaldo nets on return

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Madrid (AFP) Newly promoted Alaves stunned Spanish champions Barcelona by winning 2-1 at the Camp Nou on Saturday as boss Luis Enrique paid a heavy price for starting Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench.

Barca now trail Real Madrid by three points at the top of the table after Cristiano Ronaldo took just five minutes to score on his return from a two-month injury layoff in a 5-2 rout of Osasuna at the Bernabeu.

Barca stunned by Alaves, Ronaldo nets on return

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Madrid (AFP) Newly promoted Alaves stunned Spanish champions Barcelona by winning 2-1 at the Camp Nou on Saturday as boss Luis Enrique paid a heavy price for starting Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench.

Barca now trail Real Madrid by three points at the top of the table after Cristiano Ronaldo took just five minutes to score on his return from a two-month injury layoff in a 5-2 rout of Osasuna at the Bernabeu.

Messi, Suarez on bench as Barca ring changes

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona boss Luis Enrique left Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench for the visit of Alaves on Saturday as he made seven changes, but Neymar starts for the first time this season.

Messi had been an injury doubt due to a groin injury aggravated in Argentina's 1-0 win over Uruguay last week.

Barca trio reunited, Ronaldo returns for Real

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Madrid (AFP) Barcelona's fearsome front three of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar could join forces for the first time in four months against Alaves, while Cristiano Ronaldo will make his Real Madrdid return on Saturday.

Neymar has missed Barca's 100 percent start to the season due to his efforts in leading Brazil to Olympic gold on home soil, but returned to Spain for the first time since May after more international duty in World Cup qualifying this week and is expected to start at the Camp Nou.

Messi-less Argentina fight back to deny Venezuela

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Mérida (Venezuela) (AFP) Nicolas Otamendi scored a late equalizer as Argentina fought back from 2-0 down to snatch a 2-2 draw against Venezuela in South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament.

Manchester City defender Otamendi popped up in the 83rd minute to steer home a whipped in corner by Angel Di Maria to complete a dramatic turnaround by the Argentines at a rainswept Estadio Metropolitano in Merida.

Messi-less Argentina fight back to deny Venezuela

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Mérida (Venezuela) (AFP) Nicolas Otamendi scored a late equalizer as Argentina fought back from 2-0 down to snatch a 2-2 draw against Venezuela in South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying tournament.

Manchester City defender Otamendi popped up in the 83rd minute to steer home a whipped in corner by Angel Di Maria to complete a dramatic turnaround by the Argentines at a rainswept Estadio Metropolitano in Merida.

Messi in doubt for Celtic clash with groin injury

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi's availability for Barcelona's Champions League opener with Celtic next week remains in doubt after tests confirmed the five-time World Player of the Year is suffering from a groin injury.

Messi returned to Spain after aggravating the injury as he scored the winner against Uruguay last Thursday in his first match with Argentina since reversing his decision to retire from international football.

Messi in doubt for Celtic clash with groin injury

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Barcelona (AFP) Lionel Messi's availability for Barcelona's Champions League opener with Celtic next week remains in doubt after tests confirmed the five-time World Player of the Year is suffering from a groin injury.

Messi returned to Spain after aggravating the injury as he scored the winner against Uruguay last Thursday in his first match with Argentina since reversing his decision to retire from international football.

Messi ruled out of Venezuela qualifier

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Argentina striker Lionel Messi will miss Tuesday's 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Venezuela with a groin problem, national team coach Edgardo Bauza said on Friday.

"Unfortunately, he won't be able to play. We can't take any risks. We spoke with the doctor and it's the sensible thing to do.

Messi ruled out of Venezuela qualifier

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Buenos Aires (AFP) Argentina striker Lionel Messi will miss Tuesday's 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Venezuela with a groin problem, national team coach Edgardo Bauza said on Friday.

"Unfortunately, he won't be able to play. We can't take any risks. We spoke with the doctor and it's the sensible thing to do.

European Soccer

Thursday Kickoff: Messi, Mourinho, Balotelli and more

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One of the world's best players is set for another spell on the sidelines, while one of the world's best managers spoke out against his critics.

Lionel Messi has been diagnosed with a groin strain and will miss three weeks. (REPORT)

Jose Mourinho spoke out against "football Einsteins" that have been critical of his tenure at Manchester United.

Tuesday Kickoff: El Salvador, Messi, Gotze and more

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Ahead of World Cup qualifiers, El Salvador has brought an apparent bribe to light, while Lionel Messi appears set for a bit of time on the sidelines.

El Salvardor's national team has claimed that players had been offered bribes from a Honduran businessman to win, draw or lose by a small margin ahead of Tuesday's World Cup qualifier against Canada.

Friday Kickoff: Messi, Schweinsteiger, Gabigol and more

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Despite scoring a vital goal on Thursday, Lionel Messi's status is in doubt for Argentina, while Bastian Schweinsteiger is a part of the Manchester United squad following the close of the transfer window

Lionel Messi is questionable for Argentina's World Cup qualifier against Venezuela due to a groin injury.

Tuesday Kickoff: Messi, Chicharito, Lacazette and more

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A global star's former club is hoping to bring him home in the near future, while Mexico's top striker is set to miss time due to a freak injury.

Argentine sideNewell's Old Boys ishoping to bring Lionel Messi back to his boyhood club following the 2018 World Cup. The Barcelona forward left the club at age 13 to begin his career in Spain.

FC Barcelona

Messi out for three weeks as Barcelona draw Atletico

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Barcelona (AFP) Barcelona star Lionel Messi will be sidelined for the next three weeks due to a groin strain, dealing a huge blow to his club and country.

"To lose Lionel Messi means football loses and we lose," said Barca boss Luis Enrique.

Messi limped off just before the hour mark of the Spanish champions' 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday.

‘Come Closer, I Want You By My Side’ – Lionel Messi Says Some Incredibly Affectionate Things About Andres Iniesta

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Much like Pies, Lionel Messi absolutely worships at the church of Andres Iniesta.

Having grown up alongside him at Barcelona from a young age, Messi has been fortunate to witness the midfielder play week in, week out in all his exquisite, consummate glory and it would appear that the privilege hasn't been lost on the Argentinian superduperstar.

Five reasons Barcelona can win the Champions League

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Barcelona (AFP) Ahead of the start of their 2016-17 Champions League campaign against Celtic on Tuesday, AFP Sports takes a look at five reasons Barcelona can conquer Europe for the sixth time:

1. The 'MSN'

Blessed with three South American maestros in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, Barcelona possess the most potent attack in world football in the 'MSN'.

Five reasons Barcelona can win the Champions League

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Barcelona (AFP) Ahead of the start of their 2016-17 Champions League campaign against Celtic on Tuesday, AFP Sports takes a look at five reasons Barcelona can conquer Europe for the sixth time:

1. The 'MSN'

Blessed with three South American maestros in Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, Barcelona possess the most potent attack in world football in the 'MSN'.

Luis Enrique takes blame for shock Barcelona loss

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Barcelona (AFP) Barca boss Luis Enrique admitted he must take responsibility for the Spanish champions' shock home defeat to newly promoted Alaves after starting Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez on the bench.

Enrique made seven changes on Saturday after many of his squad returned to club duty after taking part in World Cup qualifiers around the world in the past week, whilst Messi was also struggling with a minor groin injury.

Where to find Barcelona vs. Alaves on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Barcelona vs. Alaves, you've come to the right place.

Lionel Messi is fit enough to play against Alaves in Saturday's La Liga game, but Barcelona manager Luis Enrique may decide to rest him to ensure he's ready for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match against Celtic.

Where to find Barcelona vs. Alaves on US TV and streaming

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If you're trying to find out how you can watch Barcelona vs. Alaves, you've come to the right place.

Lionel Messi is fit enough to play against Alaves in Saturday's La Liga game, but Barcelona manager Luis Enrique may decide to rest him to ensure he's ready for Tuesday's UEFA Champions League match against Celtic.

Brazil

CONMEBOL WCQ Rewind: Brazil impresses, Uruguay goes top, and more

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Tuesday provided another drama-filled evening in CONMEBOL World Cup qualifying.

The eighth round was highlighted by Brazil, who won for the second time in as many games under new coach Tite. The Selecao won, 2-1, over Colombia thanks to Neymar's strike in the 74th minute, following up on its huge 3-0 win in Ecuador last Thursday.

Messi makes scoring return, Brazil sink Ecuador

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Montevideo (AFP) Lionel Messi scored the winning goal on his return from a short-lived international retirement as Argentina defeated Uruguay to take control of South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying race.

Messi had stunned the footballing world in June after vowing to never play for Argentina again following an agonizing defeat to Chile in the final of the Copa America Centenario.

Messi makes scoring return, Brazil sink Ecuador

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Montevideo (AFP) Lionel Messi scored the winning goal on his return from a short-lived international retirement as Argentina defeated Uruguay to take control of South America's 2018 World Cup qualifying race.

Messi had stunned the footballing world in June after vowing to never play for Argentina again following an agonizing defeat to Chile in the final of the Copa America Centenario.

The Rest

XI Delicious Photos Of Footballers Enjoying A Nice Bit Of Chocolate

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If only all football/chocolate tie-inwere so cool, eh?

In what is perhaps the most tenuous tie-in we've ever attempted here on Pies, here's XIphotos of football's great and good getting stuck into various chocolatey treats.

After all, what better way to mark 'International Chocolate Day' than revisiting that time Jerzy Dudek painted an Easter egg?

Lionel Messi Scores Winning Goal For Argentina Several Weeks After Retiring From International Football (Photos & Video)

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Lionel Messi pulled off another neat trick last night when he scored Argentina's winning goal against Uruguay despite having retired from international football some weeks ago now.

Embed from Getty Images

Indeed, despite not actually being on the pitch, Messi settled the 2018World Cup qualifier in the 43rd minute with a piece of excellent back-heeled control and a massively deflected finish.