FC Barcelona’s match against Benfica today looked inconsequential enough on paper (the result would have no impact on Barca’s Champions League standings) that defender Adriano Correia had to stress that yes, his team would be motivated. All the same, coach Tito Vilanova rested several starters… but not his (and the world’s) best player, Lionel Messi.
Now, Vilanova’s probably wishing he had. Because midway through the match, the nightmares of Barca fans the world over came to life: Messi went down with a knee injury and had to be taken off. Here’s what happened:
Fortunately, early reports suggested Messi’s injury wasn’t serious. Barca’s Twitter account says he has a bruise on the outside of his knee and will undergo further testing. Let’s hope that testing doesn’t reveal anything more than that bruise, because this guy missing any significant time is bad for the sport. Good for Barca’s opponents, bad for everyone else. Get well soon, Leo.