Agony and Ecstasy in Lionel Messi's international return

Lionel Messi set to miss the next 2018 World Cup qualifier against Venezuela due to injury. It comes soon after he staged a fine return to Internationals

Agony and Ecstasy in Lionel Messi

After making return to the Argentina national team after immense public pressure superstar Argentina striker and skipper Lionel Messi is set to miss the forthcoming 2018 World Cup qualifier away to Venezuela with a groin problem, national team coach Edgardo Bauza said. Messi made a triumphant return after his short-lived international retirement by scoring the winning goal in Argentina's 1-0 victory over Uruguay in Mendoza.

The result moved Argentina to the top of the 10-team South American qualifying group after seven of 18 matches. The top four teams will automatically qualify for the 2018 finals in Russia.

"Unfortunately, he won't be able to play. We can't take any risks. We spoke with the doctor and it's the sensible thing to do. It must be treated, we must take care of him," Bauza told reporters at the team's training base in Buenos Aires.

Meanwhile, after his brief international exit and return , there is now reports that Barcelona will sign a new contract with Lionel Messi soon. Messi is expected to sign a new deal with Barcelona this season, according to the club's sporting director.

In an exclusive interview with Spanish publication Sport, Robert Fernandez spoke on a range of issues, including that of Messi's contract which is currently set to expire at the end of the 2017-18 season. The spanish giants Barca have already agreed signed new deals with Brzil's Neymar, Rafinha, Sergio Busquets and Javier Mascherano, and Fernandez insists Messi will be next in line.

"The president [Josep Maria Bartomeu] has already said," Fernandez explained. "This year there are a number of situations we need to solve. "I'm delighted that he's [Messi] the No.1 in the world and that he's with us. We will reach an agreement. I'm totally convinced.

"There's no rush. This season we will reach an agreement. Like we did with Rafinha, Mascherano, Busi and Neymar." It seems like Barca has now zeroed in on the Argentine superstar Messi and keen to keep in the club in the years ahead.

( Agencies)