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Lionel Messi News: Real Betis coach Rubi hopes Barcelona captain catches a cold ahead of LaLiga clash

24 Aug 2019, 11:54 IST

FC Barcelona v Arsenal - Pre-Season Friendly
FC Barcelona v Arsenal - Pre-Season Friendly

What's the story?

Real Betis coach Rubi has joked that he hopes Barcelona captain, Lionel Messi, is ruled out due to a 'major cold' ahead of their clash in the LaLiga this weekend.

In case you didn't know...

Messi, who missed the Blaugrana's season opener last week owing to a calf injury, is expected to make his return against Real Betis, much to the despair of Rubi.

The five-time Ballon d'Or winner has not been in action for the Catalan giants since the end of the previous season as he led Argentina to a third-place finish in the recent Copa America campaign.

The 32-year-old also missed Barcelona's pre-season tours and was absent during the side's shock defeat to Athletic Bilbao last weekend.

Messi has since returned to full training and is expected to play some part against Real Betis, as the likes of Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez have already been ruled out due to injury.

The heart of the matter

Rubi has revealed that he would rather see Messi missing from the squad against Betis and jokingly added that it would be good if the Argentine catches a cold before the game.

According to Marca, he said, "I would prefer Messi to have a cold and not an injury, but a major cold that would keep him out on Sunday."

"I think that he will probably start, but I have no idea. Only they [Barcelona] know the extent of his injury and how he is physically."

Rubi further addressed Neymar's reported return to Barcelona saying, "It's not for me to say if Barcelona should sign Neymar or not, but I have worked with him in Barcelona and I can assure you that he's one of the top five best footballers in the world."

What's next?

Barcelona will host Real Betis at the Camp Nou on Sunday night.

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