Lionel Messi has sparked some tension with his club FC Barcelona after he insisted on returning to national team duties for Argentina. The national team captain decided to fly back to South America for a series of World Cup Qualifiers despite sustaining a hamstring injury.
According to Give Me Sport, the club has advised Messi to stay in Barcelona to recover from his injury. However, after having just recently been convinced to return to international duties, Messi decided to travel halfway across the globe to be with his countrymen during the upcoming FIFA World Cup 2018 Qualifiers.
“The club recommended against him travelling but he said, ‘No, no, I am travelling,’” said national team coach Edgardo Bauza. Sport published an account of his interview with FOX Argentina after Messi arrived at Buenos Aires.
Bauza can be personally credited for convincing Messi to return to national team duties earlier this month. He traveled to Barcelona to have a discussion with the captain after Messi impulsively decided to retire from international football earlier this summer. He made the decision after missing a penalty kick that resulted in the team’s loss in their second straight Copa America final.
Now that Messi is back with the national team, the decision to risk aggravating his injury has caused some tension with FC Barcelona. However, the club’s statement declared that the decision has been made between their medical team and the Argentinian Football Association. Despite being allowed to travel, Lionel Messi is not necessarily confirmed to play in the upcoming games.
“The player is travelling to Argentina to join the national team for World Cup qualifying matches at home to Uruguay and away to Venezuela, and his presence in those matches will depend on how the injury develops,” read the statement. The first match will be on Friday against Uruguay.