Messi suffered a tear in the medial collateral ligament of his left knee during Saturday’s 2-1 win over Las Palmas and looks set to miss Barça’s next eight games.
Which all means Real Madrid must build up a buffer before Christmas, and Messi’s injury has given them the best chance they’ll ever have of doing that.
“There is no substitute for Messi, it will be a challenge to be competitive without him, “said the Treble-winning manager ahead of their Champions League clash with Bayer Leverkusen”.
Malaga’s most unsafe player Nordin Amrabat was sent off for elbowing Marcelo after 76 minutes, but Real could not find a way through, and it was a frustrating match for Cristiano Ronaldo and his fellow forwards.
Enrique pointed out at a press conference Monday that Barcelona was not just missing Messi. Neymar stepped up to take it, but the Brazilian blazed his effort over the bar.
Barcelona doctors fear that Messi won’t return to the training ground before the sixth week.
“A win like this is good for our confidence, but it’ll be a very different game (in Barcelona)”.
With Messi gone, Luis Suarez took charge of the hosts’ attack as they bounced back from their stinging 4-1 loss at Celta Vigo on Wednesday.
Messi walked off by himself as Munir El Haddadi replaced the four-time World Player of the Year in front of a quiet Camp Nou crowd of nearly 75,000.
Defender Maxim Zhavnerchik and striker Vitaly Rodionov are also injured and unlikely to play against Roma.
Sandro on the other hand is clever with his movement and positioning but his shooting is where he needs to improve. However, fans are hopeful about his comeback and wants him back for El Classico.
Without Lionel Messi, it’s time for Neymar to step up on the big stage. And the club’s appeal to world football’s governing body to register one of their two summer signings, Arda Turan and Aleix Vidal, due to the injury crisis has fallen on deaf ears.
Barca face Sevilla, Rayo Vallecano, Eibar, Getafe and Villarreal in La Liga before visiting the Bernabeu.