La Liga kickoff is upon us, but two of the league’s biggest stars will miss it.
Lionel Messi has been left out of Barcelona’s matchday squad for their opener against Athletic Bilbao with a calf injury, while Eden Hazard has a thigh injury and won’t face Celta Vigo on Saturday with his new team.
In fact, Tom Allnutt of AFP reports Hazard could be out 3-4 weeks with his injury, which has been confirmed by Real Madrid.
It would be a tough start to the season for manager Zinedine Zidane and Real Madrid, who spent big in the transfer market and are counting on Hazard to helm their revamped attack.
Messi’s injury is less concerning in the long run, as Barcelona revealed themselves 11 days ago he wouldn’t face Napoli during preseason with the calf strain. This is likely just precaution on the part of the club and manager Ernesto Valverde, who triggered Antoine Griezmann’s release clause this summer to bring him aboard from Atletico Madrid.
So Barcelona is flush with attacking options. Real Madrid is less so. Either way, two of La Liga’s biggest names won’t take part in one of its biggest weekends.
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