Barca: Messi didn’t disobey us

Barcelona have refuted claims from Argentina national team coach Edgardo Bauza that Lionel Messi acted against their wishes by joining up with his national team.

La Albiceleste face rivals Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier that Messi was expected to miss after picking up a hamstring problem in the 1-0 win over Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Tests at the club confirmed the initial diagnosis, although the injury was deemed to be a minor one.

National team coach Edgardo Bauza reportedly claimed that Barcelona had told the player not to travel to South America, but it has since been revealed that was not the case.

Barca director Alber Soler said at a press conference on Thursday: “There’s no problem with the Argentina medical team.

“It’s not true that Barca recommended Messi not to join up with Argentina and he did so anyway [against that advice].

“Our obligation is to advise the AFA if Messi has a problem and we did, but we did not prohibit him going at any point.”