Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is out for 8 weeks with a torn hamstring. He isn’t the only Barcelona superstar who is injured. Xavi Hernandez misses out with his hamstring issue, joining Victor Valdes, Dani Alves, Christian Tello, Jordi Alba, Jonathon Dos Santos, Isaac Cuenca and Ibrahim Afellay on the sidelines.
“Absences are always unfortunate and we are missing the best goalkeeper in the world,” Barcelona manager Gerardo Martino said at a pre-match news conference. “But every time that Pinto plays he has done well and the team has won. Anyway, we should not focus so much on the players that are missing. Those who are out are very good players, but so are those who come in. We must choose the best players available and go out to win the game. We must keep improving.”
Martino also said they hadn’t made a decision on when Lionel Messi would return to Argentina to continue his recovery.
“I do not want to say the exact date, it will be more or less between the end of this month and the start of December,” he said. “[The recovery plan] is proceeding as expected, always with the consent of the club. There is contact with people from the Argentine FA but Barcelona is not avoiding its obligations. Leo took the decision with us, and we have decided that the best is for him to come back fine at the start of next year.”