For the first time since 2018, Lionel Messi may not feature in the globally followed el clasico, a rivalry-filled clash of Barcelona and Real Madrid.
Messi has been included in Argentina’s preliminary squad for the 2022 World Cup qualifiers against Ecuador and Bolivia. The two matches are billed for 8 and 13 October respectively.
By quarantine regulations in Spain, Messi will be potentially out of the clash with Real Madrid on 25 October as he will have to be self-isolate for 14 days if he travels for the World Cup qualifying matches.
The same scenario affects Philippe Coutinho who is expected to join his national side in October.
The last time Barca played the Clasico without Leo Messi was in October 2018 when the Catalans smashed the Blancos 5-1.