BARCELONA, Spain (AP) — Lionel Messi, grimacing in pain, was taken off the field on a cart with a knee injury as Barcelona was held to a 0-0 tie by Benfica in a Champions League match on Wednesday night. With Barcelona already assured of advancing to the second round, Messi entered as a reserve in the 58th minute.
Messi took a left-footed shot from an angle, then fell to the field in pain. He rolled onto his back and held the knee, then was loaded onto a cart.
”Messi has a bruise on the outside of his left knee,” Barcelona said on its Twitter feed. ”He’ll undergo further tests to determine the exact extent of the injury.”
A three-time FIFA Player of the Year, Messi has 84 goals for Barcelona and Argentina this year, one shy of Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old record for most goals in a calendar year for club and country.