Paris Saint-Germain will be without Lionel Messi for their next fixture, but the Argentine’s World Cup hopes are not thought to be in doubt.
Paris Saint-Germain have confirmed that Messi will miss their Ligue 1 game against Lorient on Sunday afternoon with ‘inflammation’ of his Achilles and is being treated as a ‘precaution’.
The French champions expect the seven-time Ballon d’Or winner to be able to return to team training next week, although Argentina fans will certainly be sweating given just how close it is to the start of the World Cup this month.
Given that the tournament in Qatar follows on from the pause in club football with barely any real break, any sort of setback at this stage could become more of a problem.
Messi has never won the World Cup, the last thing missing from an incredible career after finally getting his hands on a first senior international trophy at the 2021 Copa America.
The 35-year-old has seen Argentina knocked out in the quarter-finals in 2006 and 2010, while they fell at the last 16 stage in 2018. But Messi and the Albiceleste did reach the final on enemy soil in Brazil in 2014, only to lose against Germany in extra-time.
Argentina are among the favourites to win the World Cup, which would be a first title since 1986, thanks to a 35-game unbeaten streak that is only two short of matching Italy’s world record for international matches without defeat.
Lionel Scaloni’s team have a warm-up friendly against UAE planned for 16 November and then will get underway in Group C against Saudi Arabia on 22 November. The World Cup itself kicks off on 20 November when hosts Qatar face Ecuador in Group A.