Lionel Messi’s health sets off alarm bells in Argentina

EAST RUTHERFORD-. Lionel Messi left a thread of concern in Argentina after suffering discomfort in the right adductor that affected the captain during the albiceleste’s 1-0 victory on Tuesday against Chiliwhich secured a place in the quarterfinals of the Copa América.

“It bothers me a little, but I was able to finish playing,” Messi said in the mixed zone at MetLife Stadium in New Jersey. “I hope it’s nothing serious. It was difficult for me to move freely because of the discomfort. Tomorrow I’ll see how we continue.”

“It was out of nowhere, I came from a couple of days with a sore throat, fever and maybe it took its toll on me,” added the star, who had turned 37 the day before. “It’s not something old or something I had, it’s a contracture. We will see.”

Messi received a kick from Gabriel Suazo in the 24th minute and had to receive massages on his right thigh. After a couple of minutes, he returned to the court, but took advantage of breaks in the game to stretch.

“I wasn’t comfortable,” Messi said. “More than kicking, in the movements. “Although it didn’t bother me in a straight run, when I wanted to move laterally I felt a little more.”

Argentine coach Lionel Scaloni could not give details about the forward’s condition in the post-match press conference.

“I didn’t talk to Leo after the game,” Scaloni said. “He ended up playing, you already saw that he did the 50-meter race with Ángel (Di María) and with Lautaro (Martínez).

Messi has suffered muscle problems during 2024 with his club Inter Miami in the MLS.

A hamstring injury in his right leg prevented him from playing in the first leg of the CONCACAF Champions Cup quarterfinals against Monterrey of Mexico in March. This meant that the forward was not called up for Argentina’s subsequent friendlies against El Salvador and Costa Rica.

With Argentina classified to the quarterfinals of the Copa América with the ideal score of six, Messi hinted at the possibility of not playing against Peru next Saturday at the Hard Rock Stadium in his adopted Miami.

“We have to see how these days go, how I’m recovering, but today we took an important step to be calm, classified,” said Messi. “There are many games in a row, many trips, we will start to think about what is coming ”.

Scaloni assumed that the defending champions will make rotations against a Peru that is at the bottom of Group A with one point and the last card will be played to continue in the tournament.

“I think it is fair that the boys who have not played these two games play,” said the coach. “Because I also need to see them and they deserve it.”