Barcelona defender Carles Puyol has described Lionel Messi’s injury as the ‘worst news of the night’ following a 0-0 draw with Benfica.
The Argentina international started the Champions League clash on the bench and came on in the second half as a replacement for Rafinha.
But with five minutes left – and the game still goalless – the Ballon d’Or favourite went down clutching his leg and had to be taken off the Camp Nou pitch by medics after colliding with Eagles goalkeeper Artur.
Following his withdrawal, neither team were able to break the deadlock, and Benfica’s inability to score condemned them to the Europa League while Celtic advanced to the round of 16 after they beat Spartak Moscow 2-1.
Many suspected Wednesday night would be the moment when Messi equalled – or even surpassed – Gerd Muller’s record of 85 goals in a calendar year.
However, should Messi’s injury rule him out for even a fortnight, the winter break that Spanish clubs partake in could allow the legendary German striker’s record remain intact.
“Lionel Messi is undergoing some tests, but hopefully it is not anything (serious),” Puyol told reporters after the match.
“Clearly this is the worst news of the night and hopefully he will be back with us at 100 percent. We tried to play as we can, we tried, we made chances and it was an open game.”
Midfielder Thiago Alcantara was equally concerned with the plight of his team-mate, but remains hopeful the injury is not as bad as first thought.
“It was a game in which it was clear that we wanted to win even though we went with young players,” he said.
“The bad news is Leo’s injury. I hope it’s nothing. We are concerned, which is normal considering the state in he was in.”