Lionel Messi’s bumpy ride may cause Argentina turbulence
Lionel Messi and several of his team-mates took ill due to the turbulence during the journey to the city near the Andes where Argentina will face Colombia.football Updated: Nov 15, 2016 18:24 IST
Lionel Messi had to reach for the sick bag as the plane carrying the Argentina team endured a bumpy ride from Buenos Aires to San Juan ahead of a World Cup qualifier.
The Barcelona superstar and several of his team-mates took ill due to the turbulence during the journey to the city near the Andes where Argentina will face Colombia.
The bout of illness will not stop Messi or any of his colleagues from playing in what is a crucial game for Argentina’s hopes of reaching the 2018 World Cup in Russia.
Edgardo Bauza’s side are sixth in the South American qualifying group after 11 matches following a 3-0 defeat in Brazil last week.
They are a point off fourth-place Ecuador, with the top four qualifying directly and the team in fifth going into a play-off against a team from the Oceania zone.
Messi mum on Barcelona contract
Meanwhile, Messi is neither confirming nor denying a report in sports newspaper Marca that the player has told Barcelona that he does not intend to renew his contract.
The player’s representatives said Monday that Messi would not be making any comments related to the story.
Marca claimed that Messi told the club about his alleged decision in July, not long after he and his father were convicted of defrauding Spanish tax authorities — something that Marca said played a major role in the player’s decision-making process.
Messi and his father have denied any wrongdoing and said they would appeal. Barcelona did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
Some publications in Barcelona challenged the story by the Madrid-based Marca. The daily denied that its report came in retaliation for Messi not showing up at a recent awards ceremony organised by the newspaper.
The 29-year-old Messi arrived at Barcelona as a teenager from Argentina, and has never publicly talked about being unhappy at the club.
The five-time player of the year has become the face of the Catalan club and has four Champions League titles and eight Spanish league triumphs.