Although Lionel Messi missed both Argentina’s friendlies his coach at Barcelona, Ernesto Valverde, has played down any serious injury fears.
The 54-year-old tactician confirmed that he has been aware of his player’s muscle problem, but dismissed any concerns regarding his situation.
“Messi finished the last match against Athletic Club and it is true that he has a few minor problems,” he said during the presentation of the 14th edition of the book ‘Relatos Solidarios del Deporte’ on Tuesday.
“I am calm because we believe that it is not important at all.
“We won’t worry beforehand, let’s see what he has exactly.”
Valverde went on to jokingly answer a question regarding the whistles towards Gerard Pique, during the friendly between Spain and the Albiceleste.
“I have nothing to say about that,” he noted.
“In fact, I didn’t hear it, because I watch TV without volume, but I know that he takes it well.”
The aforementioned presentation has been held to raise funds for the NGO Proactiva Open Arms, whose main mission is to rescue refugees arriving in Europe from the Mediterranean Sea.
“Those of us who live in the world of football are used to being an example for many [people],” Valverde added.
“The people who follow us consider us heroes because we won championships or participated in finals, but the heroes are those anonymous people who collaborate with Proactiva Open Arms and are risking their lives every day to help people survive.”
In a move to support this action, the Blaugrana coach, who sponsors the new edition of the solidarity book written annually by sports journalists, has been photographed with Oscar Camps, founder of the NGO.