LIONEL MESSI has sparked fears he could miss Barcelona’s tie against Manchester United after aggravating a pelvic problem on international duty.
The Argentina star will sit out his country’s international friendly with Morocco after they lost 3-1 to Venezuela in Madrid.
Messi, 31, played a full 90 minutes upon his return to the Argentina team on Friday night – his first appearance in 265 days after the crushing 4-3 loss to France during last year’s World Cup.
But Venezuela ruined his come-back with a stunning win over their South American rivals – just second in history.
And now to the Argentine maestro has handed Barcelona an injury scare as Messi will miss Albiceleste’s friendly against Morocco on Monday with the injury.
That comes just 2½ weeks before Manchester United host the Catalans in the first leg of their Champions League quarter-final tie at Old Trafford on April 10.
Meanwhile, Luis Suarez is also doubtful for the Red Devils clash after picking up an injury in last week’s La Liga match against Betis.
Barca have published a statement on their website confirming Messi’s involvement in the international break is over.
It read: “Lionel Messi did not have the return to international action that he would have wanted, and an injury picked up on Friday night means he will miss Argentina’s game against Morocco on Tuesday.
“Whilst he would feature from start to finish, a problem with his pubis means that Messi will not play in the second friendly of the international break.”
Messi has been in stunning form recently, orchestrating Barcelona’s win 5-1 over Lyon last week with two goals and two assists to his name.
He then went onto scoring a magnificent hat-trick against Betis, extending the Catalans’ La Liga lead over Atletico Madrid to 10 points.
His wonderful chip over helpless keeper Pau Lopez was a highlight of the game and earned him an ovation even from home fans.
But after reporting on international duty, national coaches were concerned about Messi’s well-being.
Technical director Cesar Luis Menotti said: “It scares me that Messi plays. I see him emotionally fatigued between the Champions League and the national team.
“I see him very tired. He has a lot of obligations and with a lot of emotional baggage, a lot of responsibilities at his feet.”