LIONEL MESSI has admitted he worries about missing this year’s World Cup through injury.
The seven-time Ballon d’Or winner confirmed recently the Qatar tournament would be his last World Cup.
The striker, who missed his team’s last two games including the Champions League tie against Benfica because of a calf strain, told DirecTV Sports: “Injuries are a worry.
“This is a different World Cup which is played at a different time of the year to previous tournaments and it’s so imminent any little thing that happens to you can force you out.
“With what happened to Dybala and Di Maria, the truth is that personally you worry and you’re more afraid when you see those sort of things.”
The 35-year-old dad-of-three added in his interview: “It’s something you think about but I feel going out to play with that in your head can be contradictory as well.
“The best thing you can do is perform as normal and play your game as you always do.
“I hope Di Maria and Dybala recover in time. They have enough time to do so and reach the tournament in good shape.”
Juventus winger Di Maria was ruled out for three weeks with a hamstring injury after coming off in the first half of the Italian team’s mid-week Champions League match against Maccabi Haifa.
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Roma manager Jose Mourinho has cast doubt over Dybala’s participation in the Qatar World Cup by claiming he does not expect to see him play for the Italian Serie A side until next year after his “very bad” muscle injury in his side’s league match against Lecce.
Messi said in a separate interview earlier this month: “This will be my last World Cup – for sure. The decision has been made.”
He previously suffered heartbreak in the 2014 final when an extra-time strike from Germany’s Mario Gotze ended his World Cup dream.