Barcelona (AFP)

FC Barcelona striker Lionel Messi, who was celebrating his first tenure of the season after a right calf injury, gave up his position "as a precaution" against Villarreal (2-1) due to an embarrassment in the left thigh. said his coach Ernesto Valverde.

The Argentinian (32), Monday winner of the "Fifa The Best" award for best player of the year, was forced to use the physio at half an hour of play after receiving a blow behind the thigh.

He was massaged on the edge of the field for a few minutes before resuming the game. Messi was forced to come out at the break, however, with a 2-1 score for Barcelona, ​​leaving French winger Ousmane Dembélé, who is also injured.

"It's a little embarrassment to adductor and as a precaution we decided not to take any risk," said Valverde in a press conference. "In principle, it's nothing more, we'll see tomorrow the scope (of the injury) .It was not to take a risk because it comes back injury, avoid relapse, nothing more."

If this physical problem were confirmed for Messi, already absent several weeks before returning last week, it would be a new blow for Barca, author of his worst start to the season in 25 years.

The victory on Tuesday at least allowed FC Barcelona to return to the foot of the podium in La Liga with 10 points, one length behind the provisional trio head of Granada, Athletic Bilbao and Real Madrid.

© 2019 AFP