Messi out of Barcelona's friendly in Hamburg


Tue, 24 Jul 14:36:00 2012

* Argentine bruises calf in training

* Hoping to be fit for game against Raja (Adds Vilanova quotes)

Lionel Messi will miss Barcelona's friendly in Germany against Hamburg SV later on Tuesday after bruising his calf in Monday's training session, the La Liga club said.

A scan had revealed the extent of the injury and the Argentine World Player of the Year had remained in the Catalan capital for treatment, the club said in a statement on their website (

New coach Tito Vilanova, who replaced Pep Guardiola at the end of last season, said he was sorry for fans who had bought tickets expecting to see Messi play.

The club was hopeful the 25-year-old would be available for Barca's next pre-season friendly against Moroccan side Raja Club Athletic on Saturday, Vilanova added.

"If he played he would be risking a more serious injury," he said at a news conference just after arriving in the northern German port city.

"He is a footballer who always wants to play," he added. "We hope he can be available for Saturday."

The Barca squad for the Hamburg game, Vilanova's first in charge, is made up mostly of B team players as the club's Spanish internationals have yet to return from holiday following their triumphant Euro 2012 campaign.


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