Lionel Messi has been ruled out of the La Liga El Clasico against Real Madrid after being forced off in Barcelona's match against Sevilla with an injury.
Messi landed awkwardly on his elbow after tangling with Franco Vazquez and had to be taken off in the 17th minute. Vazquez was shielding the ball from the Barcelona captain and Messi tripped over his leg and landed on top of his elbow.
"Tests carried out on the first team player Leo Messi have confirmed that he has a fracture of the radial bone in his right arm. He will be out for approximately three weeks," Barcelona confirmed in a statement.
Barcelona will be without Messi for two Champions League games against Inter Milan, the Clasico and La Liga matches against Rayo Vallecano and Real Betis.
The news is also unwelcome for Tottenham, who will be relying on Barcelona beating Inter Milan twice in their next two Champions League games to limit the gap between them and the Italian side in the race for second place in Group B.
Messi was having a significant impact on the game before being forced off. He provided a nice assist for Philippe Coutinho to open the scoring with a neat curling effort from inside the box before getting in on the action himself with a precise finish to complete a good team move.
Barcelona will look towards Ousmane Dembele in his absence, but they will not struggle to score goals without him, according to manager Ernesto Valverde.
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"We know what he gives to us and what the opponents think when they see Leo on the field," said Valverde. "We must prepare ourselves and have the resources to cope without him, even if these are tough games.
"In the past, we have had games without him and we have always tried
to maintain our style."
"Messi's injury does not have to affect us mentally," added Gerard Pique. "We have a host of forwards who can lead the games for us."
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