Back in action with Argentina after winning the Copa America in July, PSG's Lionel Messi helped the Albiceleste to a 3-1 World Cup qualifying victory over Venezuela but suffered a serious scare int he process.
Paris Saint-Germain boss Mauricio Pochettino and the club's ambitious Qatari owners suffered a scare on Thursday night as they saw new mega-signing Lionel Messi - who has played just 24 minutes for his new club - suffer a horror tackle in Argentina's 3-1 World Cup qualifying win away to Venezuela.
In an evening that marked the return of the fans, with a 30% capacity in the South American stadiums, all eyes were on new Parisian Messi, whose first steps with the club from the French capital were followed by the whole sub-continent. Arriving in Caracas in the middle of the night on his private jet - accompanied by clubmates Angel Di Maria and Leandro Paredes - Messi was one of the last players to join the squad.
A real scare
In the 27th minute, 34-year-old Messi gave everyone a huge scare when he stayed down for a long while after Venezuela's Adrian Martinez had scraped his studs down the newly signed PSG star's left shin. The referee issued a red card after using VAR.
Messi was on the ground for several minutes while the medical staff worked on him, but La Pulga ended up getting back to his feet and was able to play the rest of the match. According to initial examinations, the new PSG player suffered a considerable cut under his left knee but nothing more serious.
Albiceleste coach Lionel Scaloni had taken the liberty of largely rotating his squad - with the exception of a Messi, in need of match fitness - ahead of Sunday's clash with a Brazil side looking to exact revenge for their Copa America final defeat , even though he will be without his nine English Premier League players. It is not yet known whether Messi will take part in that match.
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