Lionel Messi
File photo of Lionel Messi

FC Barcelona have added to their woes as the injured Lionel Messi is set to miss Saturday’s LaLiga clash against Valencia.

Messi’s joining in the Barcelona squad before the season was delayed after the Copa America. He picked up a calf injury before Barcelona’s pre-season tour to US. He did not travel with the team for the tour.

He is yet to feature in a game for the Blaugranas in the new season. As it has been in most cases, Barcelona did not seem to be on top without the talismanic Argentine.They started the season with a shocking 1-0 loss against Athletico Bilbao. Even though Barcelona trashed Real Betis at the Camp Nou, they dropped points Osasuna in the latest game. After three matches, Barcelona find themselves with just four points in three matches. In fact, Barcelona managed only one victory in the last eight games in the absence of Lionel Messi.

Barcelona were however, until a few days back, expecting Messi’s return after the international break. But multiple sources have now confirmed that he will not feature against Valencia on Saturday. After their fourth match in the league, Barcelona start their campaign in the UEFA Champions League against German side Borussia Dortmund. Messi’s involvement in the Champions League encounter is also not guaranteed.

Messi is currently known to be training alone, away from the team, working on his rehabilitation.

Messi will enter into the final year of his contract with Barcelona in the coming season and according to a clause in his contract, he can leave the club for free at the end of the season. The club are reported to be offering him a lifetime contract to keep the five time Ballon d’Or winner at Barcelona.

Previous reports suggested that if Messi were to hang up his boots from professional football out of Catalonia, it would be in the MLS or in the Newell’s Old Boys and not anywhere in Europe. The lifetime contract could well mean that the beginning and the end to the illustrious football career will be in Barcelona.