Lionel Messi could miss El Clasico if selected for Argentina games
Ronald Koeman could be without his star man Lionel Messi for three games, including El Clasico against Real Madrid, if the Argentine goes off on international duty next month.
Argentina’s World Cup 2022 qualifying fixtures have been confirmed, with matches against Ecuador on October 8, and Bolivia on October 13.
Under the current regulations in Spain, anyone returning from South America is required to quarantine for 14 days, meaning Messi won’t be able to play in La Liga matches during that time period.
He would miss matches against Getafe and Alaves, and crucially the huge fixture against fierce rivals Real Madrid.
FIFA has confirmed that players situated in Europe will be available for CONMEBOL qualifiers, but a number of clubs have raised concerns.
Argentina will be keen for their talisman to be leading the line for their matches, although new Barcelona boss Koeman will be reluctant for him to miss La Liga games as a result.
It comes at the end of a difficult summer, in which Messi was on the verge of leaving the club.
The drawn out saga drew the ire of fans, and now club president Josep Bartomeu faces being booted out after 20,687 club members backed a vote of no confidence against him.
It didn’t affect Messi’s playing ability though, as he returned to action against Girona in a pre-season friendly this week, scoring twice after his dramatic u-turn.