Why Lionel Messi Should Not Play Against Real Betis

Tre' Atkinson@@TreAtkinsonFeatured ColumnistDecember 8, 2012

Why Lionel Messi Should Not Play Against Real Betis

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    Lionel Messi gave the world of football a massive scare midweek when he came up injured against Benfica. The Barcelona star had to be carted off the field as the Camp Nou grew very silent.

    The club was obviously worried, along with every Barcelona fan. Messi has rarely been injured and, at times, seems to be indestructible. But when the Argentine hits the pitch and stays down, it is a worrying sight.

    As soon as Messi left the pitch there was one question on everyone's mind: how long will Messi be out?

    Luckily, it did not take the club long to reveal the extent of the injury. The club's official website reported this morning the Messi will indeed travel with the team to play and it looks more likely that he will feature.

    Whether Messi is healthy enough to play does not seem to be the issue. The bigger question is should he play?

    I do not believe it is wise for the club to play Messi. Let's take a look at the reasons why.

The Chance of Reinjuring Himself

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    Thought the injury was not severe, a bruised bone can cause extreme pain (via goal.com).

    The pain was clear on Messi's face, as he was in extreme pain and terrified of the possible extent of the injury.

    Though bruises are really not much of a problem, anyone who has had a bad bruise will admit that it can be tender.

    One more slide tackle and viewers could again witness Messi hitting the pitch in severe discomfort. It takes time for the pain of a bruise to go away, and it is best if Messi lets his knee fully heal rather than risking more damage.

    The very last thing that fans want to see is Messi going down grasping his left knee again.

    That very sight remains a huge possibility if he is to play on Sunday. Football is a sport of contact, the very thing Messi does not need at this point.

Barcelona Will Face Atletico Madrid Next Week

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    In just one week, La Liga will see its biggest game of the season to date.

    Barcelona will host second place Atletico Madrid in a battle for supremacy. Both teams will absolutely want to walk away with a win and will send out the big guns to avoid dropping points.

    For Barcelona, a win would see their lead in La Liga grow to a nearly insurmountable margin. But for Atletico, a win would put pressure on Barcelona and put La Liga for grabs.

    There is no way that Barcelona wants Lionel Messi to miss this huge encounter.

    If he were to reaggravate his knee against Betis, he would be in jeopardy of watching the Atletico Madrid game from the stands. Not only would that hurt Barcelona for that matchup, but it could cost them in the long run.

    Every game is important, but some are more important than others. To make sure Messi is ready for Atletico, he must sit against Betis.

There Is a Long Season Ahead

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    Barcelona has made history this year with the best start to a La Liga season ever (via fcbarcelona).

    Not only is history being made, but this very well may be one of the greatest teams to ever compete. La Blaugrana are likely candidates in all of their competitions and could even win the treble this season.

    With the heights this team can reach, Barcelona need to remain at their best. 

    Lionel Messi is very vital to the club and is absolutely needed to see out the potential of this Barcelona season. Were Messi to get seriously injured, the rest of the season would be very different for Barcelona.

    Do not get me wrong, Barcelona is not a one-man team. But, they are not as good without Lionel Messi.

    To continue in their treble pursuits, Messi must be healthy. This is exactly why the Catalans must be cautious with Messi.

Will Lionel Messi Play?

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    With all of the dangers of playing Messi, will the club and player dare to risk it?

    Not only is Lionel Messi the world's best player, but he is currently chasing the record for most goals set in a calender year, currently held by Gerd Muller (via yahoo).

    Messi has always been the type of player who wants to be on the pitch at all times. He never wants to take a game off and with history in sight, he will not want to miss this one.

    The best decision the club could make is sitting Messi. But, that is also the least likely thing to happen. Messi will either start or be subbed on. However, I am hoping the club decides to be cautious with its most prolific player.


    Now to you, the readers. Should Messi play?

    Tre', The Catalan Blood of Bleacher Report.