Lionel Messi’s recent groin injury that has seen the five-time Ballon d’Or winner ruled out of Argentina’s upcoming World Cup qualifiers prompted a frustrated Edgardo Bauza to criticise Barcelona over their handling of the forward and the Catalan giants have now disclosed that the Argentine Football Association (AFA) have apologised for those comments.
Messi was forced off in Barcelona’s draw with Atlético Madrid on Wednesday and will now face three weeks on the sidelines.
Argentina coach Edgardo Bauza said, in light of the news that his captain would miss the upcoming qualifiers against Peru and Paraguay, “Barcelona always sends us messages saying that we must take care of Messi, but they don’t take care of him very well. It is strange that they make him play in all their matches.”
Messi played a vital role in Bauza’s first game in charge, a win over Uruguay but after feeling discomfort in his pubis returned to Spain rather than to feature in the following match with Venezuela, and so these comments on Thursday made headlines around the world.
Bauza did later attempt to downplay this and said he didn’t want to start a row between club and country but the AFA have not taken any risks.
Barcelona spokesman Josep Vives said,”The AFA has contacted Barca to express its apology for the comments made by the manager in relation to the injury of Leo Messi.
“The communication also insisted that the manager, Edgardo Bauza, had no bad intention and that the comments were unfortunate.
“Both the AFA and Barca express their keenness to work so that Leo Messi recuperates as quickly as possible because, as Luis Enrique said, ‘Messi is a global ambassador for football.'”