Argentine superstar Lionel Messi will miss Paris Saint-Germain’s Champions League clash with RB Leipzig due to injury, his club confirmed on Tuesday. The 34-year-old six-time Ballon d’Or winner has a problem with his left thigh muscle and a painful knee, PSG said, and is set to leave Wednesday’s game away at Leipzig. The Argentine scored two goals in the second half when PSG fought back to beat Leipzig 3-2 when the teams met in Paris two weeks ago. “If you have a player like Messi in your team, you are automatically stronger,” teammate Georginio Wijnaldum replied when asked if Messi would be missed.
“Every game has its own problems, we know tomorrow will be difficult as Leipzig are a good team. We hope Messi will be back soon,” PSG coach Mauricio Pochettino said.
Messi started PSG’s 2-1 Ligue 1 win over Lille at half-time last Friday and missed training on Monday.
Even without the four-time Champions League winner, Leipzig coach Jesse Marsch knows PSG will still put his team ahead of “another difficult task”, with Kylian Mbappe ready to return to the visitors’ series.
PSG top their Champions League group with seven points after three games, one point ahead of last season’s beaten finalists, Manchester City, while Leipzig are still not off the mark after three defeats.
Nevertheless, after taking the lead in Paris two weeks ago, Leipzig are positive about their chances against a PSG team that includes Mbappe and Brazilian star Neymar.
“The match in Paris was important to us because it showed we can give a good performance and understand we can do it away from home,” Marsch added.
“We completely believe in our chance, if we get three points with a big win, it will give us a lot of momentum.”
However, a fourth consecutive defeat in Europe would end Leipzig’s last 16 hopes.
PSG are also missing out on influential midfielder Marco Verratti, while Messi could also be in doubt for Saturday’s Ligue 1 clash between leaders PSG and struggling Bordeaux.
He will then join his national team for two World Cup qualifiers against Uruguay and Brazil.
Wednesday’s game will be the third that Messi has missed this season due to injury, after being suspended for two Ligue 1 matches at the end of September.
Messi has made a simple start in his game with the French giants since arriving from Barcelona in August.
However, he delivered one of his better performances in the home win over Leipzig, with a double that includes the winner of the penalty kick.
He said when he finished at Barcelona for almost two decades, it was a big reason to join PSG to win a fifth Champions League trophy.
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