Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza has criticised Barcelona for not taking care of Lionel Messi and doubted that he will be fit for his country’s World Cup qualifying fixtures next month.
Messi left the pitch injured in Barcelona’s 1-1 draw against Atletico Madrid, after of which the club reported that he has a torn right adductor and will be out for three weeks.
Bauza had been critical of Barcelona for playing Messi in four games in 12 days despite a groin injury in his other leg that plagued him earlier in the season.
“Barcelona always sends us messages saying that we must take care of Messi, but they don’t take care of him very well,” Bauza said. “It is strange that they make him play in all their matches.”
“We received the official report from Barcelona. To us, that seems strange because three weeks is not enough time to repair a torn adductor. We haven’t yet been able to speak with him, but we want to know how serious the injury is. Barcelona has made it more complicated for us.”
Bauza added that he would evaluate what changes he would make in Messi’s absence, as Argentina continues their World Cup qualifying campaign in Peru on October 6 and home against Paraguay five days later. However, Bauza does not expect Messi to be available during that period.
“I am envisioning the team without Messi because if Leo left the field it is because something happened,” Bauza said.
“He never goes out. Now the most important thing is that Messi gets better. After that, we shall see. I think that for the [November] matches against Brazil and Colombia, we will likely have him.”
“I am thinking that Messi is not going to be able to play in the qualifiers,” he said. “But we hope that it is nothing serious and that in three weeks he returns to action. But I am thinking about playing these matches without him.”
“Tactically, there isn’t much we could change without him. I have various options, which we will evaluate once we have all the players.”