Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is preparing to play his 500th game for the club in Wednesday evening’s La Liga clash with Real Betis at the Camp Nou.
Messi, 28, is in line to reach the milestone 10 years and two months after making his first appearance for the Catalan club, although recent medical issues and plenty of air miles may mean he starts on the bench.
After passing a kidney stone a few days before that FIFA Club World Cup final on Dec. 20, he then travelled over 40,000 kilometres in returning to Barcelona, flying to Argentina to spend Christmas with his extended family, and also taking in Sunday’s Globe Soccer Awards in Dubai.
All this means Messi may be a substitute against Betis, just as he was 12 months ago for Barca’s first game back after the winter break — a 1-0 loss at David Moyes’ Real Sociedad.
That led to a row with Blaugrana coach Luis Enrique, however no controversy is expected this year given the five trophies secured since and the positive mood around the club.
After training with his teammates at Barca’s Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper on Tuesday morning, Messi posted a message on his Facebook account suggesting he was ready to play.
“Getting ready for the last game of the year!” the message said.
Support InfoStride News' Credible Journalism: Only credible journalism can guarantee a fair, accountable and transparent society, including democracy and government. It involves a lot of efforts and money. We need your support. Click here to Donate