Barcelona have been dealt the bad news that Lionel Messi will be out for a month with the arm injury sustained in Saturday’s win over Sevilla, according to reports in Spain.
In exclusive photos from Diario SPORT, the Argentine has been pictured in a sling and it is now confirmed he will miss this Sunday’s El Clasico.
The Spanish newspaper claims Messi began treatment for his fractured forearm on Monday and is expected to return to action after the next international break, when Barcelona face a trip to title rival Atletico Madrid on November 24.
In the meantime, Barcelona will have to make do without its talisman for the two Champions League clashes against Inter Milan, its La Liga matches against Real Madrid, Rayo Vallecano, Real Betis, and Atleti and a Copa del Rey first leg against Cultural Leonesa.
This is the 20th injury Messi has suffered since signing his first professional contract with the club in 2005, missing a total of 88 matches – in his absence, Barcelona has won 56, drawn 17 and lost 15.
Barcelona went back to the top of La Liga after Saturday’s 4-2 victory over Sevilla but has looked far from its imperious best so far this season.
Ramos sees red
The tension from Real Madrid’s poor performances on the pitch appear to have carried over onto the training ground.
During Monday’s practice, club captain Sergio Ramos was accidentally caught in the face by youth team player Sergio Reguilón … and the red mist descended.
The Spanish veteran lashed out not once but twice, firing the ball at Reguilón from close range.
Ramos has since apologized, writing on Twitter: “While it might not seem like it, these things are quite common but it’s not an excuse, I shouldn’t have reacted like that.
“We always go to the max, don’t we, Regui? In the end, victory for our team together.”
Real struggles this season has seen it drop to seventh in La Liga following Saturday’s shock 2-1 home defeat to Levante.
Los Blancos’ poor form has extended to the Champions League with a loss to CSKA Moscow putting coach Julen Lopetegui under increasing pressure.
Tuesday sees Czech side Viktoria Plzen visit the Bernabeu with rumors circulating around Lopetegui’s future at the club.
Belgium coach Roberto Martinez, Michael Laudrup and Jose Mourinho have been added to the list of Lopetegui’s potential successors, with some papers suggesting he faces the sack as early as this week.
Mesut Ozil put in a masterclass of creative football as Arsenal made it 10 wins in a row with a comeback victory over Leicester City on Monday.
It looked as though Arsenal’s winning run was in doubt after Hector Bellerin’s first-half own goal, but Ozil’s sublime finish on the stroke of half time hauled his side level.
The German, who was stand-in captain for the night in Petr Cech’s absence, went on to help create Arsenal’s second and provide the decisive pass for the third, a stunning team goal many are calling one of the best in Arsenal’s recent history.
After a tricky start to the season, which saw Arsenal lose its opening two league matches under Unai Emery, the Gunners have bounced back to climb into the top four, just two points off pace-setters Manchester City.