Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has updated reporters on his injury situation and admitted that at the time he did fear the worst.
The Argentine was stretchered off towards the end of Barca’s 0-0 draw with Benfica after receiving a blow to his knee from opposition keeper Artur.
“I feel good, luckily it was not a bad injury, I feel much better than I did yesterday,” commented the 25-year-old to an assembled media room, as he was presented as ambassador for Turkish Airlines, one of Barcelona’s sponsors.
“I do not know if I will play on Sunday, it depends on the evolution of the knock. The best thing is that it was nothing more than that, a knock.
“I want to take this opportunity to say thanks for all the messages and calls I received. I did not answer because everything moved quickly and so today I want to thank you.
“I did not feel or hear anything when I got injured. My knee, the blow, what could have been. I am very grateful for all the signs of affection from the fans, from Barcelona. I knew this already, but to experience this love makes me very happy.”
The player was asked whether playing in every game increases the risk that he will pick up such injuries. Barcelona were already assured of top spot in their Champions League group before Wednesday evening’s closing game.
“When we go on to the field we always face the risk of anything happening. With Guardiola I played in these sort of games and with Vilanova he also permits to play, and I will continue to do so.
“The truth is that I did not think of anything because I was thinking about the pain that I felt. I thought the worst. I though I could be off the field.
“In that moment I thought the worst. When I looked at it, saw it. When severe injury was ruled out, then I was calmer.”
Messi continued to play in the brief moments after colliding with Artur, turning and trying to chip the ‘keeper. The Argentine is currently one goal away from equalling Gerd Muller’s record for most goals scored in a calendar year for club and country.
“I thought it was the last ball I was going to play for a long time, so I decided to gamble and hit it,” commented Messi on his shot.
“As I always say, for me the record is not an obsession. I have heard my colleagues say that they will help me, and all the goals I get are with their help. I’m not preoccupied by it.
“It would be great because I am close to it. Hopefully if I do it then it can last a long time like Muller’s has lasted, but it is not something I am focused on.
“I might get to it, if not then nothing happens. But I am close, and we will try.”