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Sergi Roberto wary over Messi injury

Sergi Roberto is hopeful Barcelona team-mate Lionel Messi will enjoy a speedy recovery from the injury that has ruled him out of Argentina’s forthcoming World Cup qualifier against Venezuela.

Messi ended a short-live international retirement to return to the Argentina side for Edgardo Bauza’s first game in charge, scoring decisively in a 1-0 win over Uruguay that sent his country to the top of the CONMEBOL standings.

But the 29-year-old aggravated a groin issue during the match and will sit out Tuesday’s fixture, while LaLiga champions Barca are next in action against Alaves next Saturday.

Roberto, who has started the season as Luis Enrique’s first choice right-back following Dani Alves’ move to Juventus, wished Messi well as he prepares for Spain’s opening preliminary for Russia 2018 against Liechtenstein on Monday.

“These type of injuries happen to footballers and I hope it’s not anything serious,” he told a news conference.

“I have not spoken to him or other team-mates. We are focused on Monday’s game, which is very important, and when we get back to Barcelona we will see how we are.” 

Spain were in impressive form under new boss Julen Lopetegui in a 2-0 friendly win over Belgium on Thursday and Roberto believes the former Porto coach will make it easy for him to translate his club form on to the international stage.

“He has a philosophy of play very similar to that of Barcelona,” he explained.

“He likes rapid pressing after losing the ball, to have the ball and bring it out from deep.

“Julen comes with great enthusiasm and desire, has young players with enthusiasm and veterans who have won everything and hope to win again.”

Sun 4 Sep, 2016
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