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Fri Sep 30 01:47:40 SAST 2016

Messi out with strain

AFP | 23 September, 2016 08:30
FILES-FBL-WC-2014-MATCH64-GER-ARG
Messi limped off just before the hour mark of the Spanish champions' 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday. File photo
Image by: ADRIAN DENNIS / 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 Barcelona boss Luis Enrique.

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

The Argentina captain is set to miss the World Cup qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay next month as well as Barca's Champions League clash at Borussia Moenchengladbach.

Messi will also miss out on the Catalans' La Liga trips to Sporting Gijon and Celta Vigo.

However, Messi should be fit in time for a reunion with old boss Pep Guardiola when Manchester City visit the Camp Nou on Champions League duty on October 19.

"Now we have to look for other solutions," added Enrique.

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