FC Barcelona fans will be relieved to learn that, according to Nigeria’s Daily Post, Lionel Messi is set to only play one of Argentina’s two upcoming friendlies. Albiceleste boss Jorge Sampaoli is allowing Messi to return home after playing Russia on November 11th, excusing him from having to play Nigeria on the 13th.
Both matches are to be played in Russia as tune-ups for FIFA World Cup 2018, also to be held in Russia.
Messi, the captain of his national team, had previously retired from international duty. But he came back, and dragged Argentina into the World Cup when the albiceleste seemed helpless without him in qualifying.
Barcelona have an extremely tough fixture list sandwiching that international break, so rest will be difficult to come by. Barça will face 5 of the top 6 sides after them in the league, with 4 of those 5 coming away from home. That includes Real Madrid at the Santiago Bernabeu. Oh, there’s also the little matter of facing Juventus in Turin in the UEFA Champions League. Yikes.
Let’s hope Messi comes back fresh!