There weren’t too many smiles coming from Lionel Messi as he left the Camp Nou knowing that his injury isn’t going to be something that takes just a little rest in bed to heal. He still had the time and the patience to take pictures with kids outside the stadium, including a few disabled fans.
The past year hasn’t done magical things for Messi’s reputation off the pitch – the tax story in Spain, the charity matches in the United States and the changing of the global trend of supporting Barcelona no matter what they do. At least Sepp Blatter has his back, calling him a “good boy”.
Well, Messi isn’t a bad one, that’s for sure. It was quite clear he was in pain and in no mood to hand out autographs or brush too much with the fans, but he wasn’t facing an intimidating mass of people. Families with children, and it didn’t look like anyone was giving him too much of a trouble walking away.
There’s no reason for a superstar like Messi to avoid the fans who just want a split second of his time to get a picture they’ll remember forever. Messi wasn’t all smiles, but he rarely is this season, and now has about six weeks to get his health back to where it should be, and his mood to where it was before the injury.
Barcelona, winning 4-0 without him and now leading the table with some room to spare can probably handle his absence, probably getting him back for the match that ends the first half of the season in Spain, a clash with Atletico Madrid.