In a cruel twist of fate, just one hour before kickoff of the Barcelona - Malaga clash, which would’ve marked the first club football action for the Catalan club since the international break, Lionel Messi was withdrawn from the match squad due to falling sick, which reportedly included vomiting. Messi was replaced in the match squad by youngster Carles Alena.
Messi’s illness could not have come at a worse time for Barcelona as not only was the Argentine star in deadly form, as exhibited against Colombia, but Barcelona are also without Luis Suarez who is serving a one-game suspension due to the accumulation of yellow cards. More now than ever, Barcelona will need summer addiction Paco Alcacer to finally score his first goal in a Blaugrana shirt.
Messi’s illness is further compounded by the injuries of Andres Iniesta and Samuel Umtiti, the former of which would’ve surely started against Malaga, while the latter would’ve had a good chance to do so as well.
Barcelona’s depth will be tested today, but even though Luis Enrique is missing a number of starters, anything but a Barcelona win would be a surprise.
Get well soon, Leo.