Argentina Captain and Paris Saint Germain forward Lionel Messi has suffered an inflamed Achilles just weeks before the World Cup in Qatar. The forward missed PSG victory yesterday at Lorient in Ligue 1 with the damaged tendon. However, PSG have insisted it is only a minor injury. Which will be excellent news for the La Albiceleste, who hope their record goal scorer can lead his country to victory after failure in the final in 2014.
Lionel Messi is desperate to lead his country to victory and will be hoping to be fit for Argentina’s opening game in group C, against Saudi Arabia, on the 22nd of November. Messi has scored six times on the biggest stage and will be hoping to add more, in what he has confirmed as, his last World Cup. The World Cup is the only trophy which eludes the magician in his illustrious career. Messi guided Argentina to the Copa America in 2021,where they beat fierce rivals Brazil in the final 1-0, thanks to a goal from Angel Di Maria.
Messi will be hoping to drag the team to glory and make up for Argentina’s poor showing at the 2018 World Cup in Russia. Argentina lost to, eventual champions, France 4-2 in the Round of 16. The countries worst finish at a World Cup since USA in 1994.
Messi has 12 goals and 14 assists in 17 games this season for PSG in all competitions and is back to his best. However, the new injury is not the first Messi has picked up this season. Just a fortnight ago, Messi missed two games due to a calf strain he picked up in the Champions League. Injuries are becoming more prominent for the 35-year-old, in the latter years of his stellar career.
However, injuries are not just a problem for Messi in the Argentina squad. As it’s confirmed, AS Roma striker, Paulo Dybala could be set to miss the tournament after suffering a muscle injury against Lecce in October after taking a Penalty. Dybala himself has 34 caps for his country and this season he signed for Jose Mourinho’s Roma from fellow Italian rivals Juventus. Dybala scored seven goals in 11 for Roma whilst also providing two assists and will be a big miss for Argentina if he does not recover before the World Cup.
Dybala could also be joined on the side-lines by Tottenham Hotspur Centre-Back Cristian Romero. The defender picked up a thigh injury on the 1st of November his expected return has not yet be announced. It is a strong possibility Argentina will also be without, midfielder Giovanni Lo Celso who picked up a hamstring injury on Halloween playing for Villareal in Spain. Fiorentina striker Nico Gonzalez is another doubt following a Hamstring injury he picked up against Inter Milan, which resulted in him being substituted in the eighth minute.