Barça say Messi will miss Italy game

FIFA Ballon d'Or holder Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's friendly with Italy on Wednesday, Barcelona confirmed on Tuesday.

"Leo Messi will not play the friendly in Rome this Wednesday between Argentina and Italy," said a statement on the club's website.

"After undergoing a check-up with the Argentine medical staff it has been decided that the star will return to Barcelona to continue his recovery from a quadriceps strain in his left leg."

The 25-year-old missed the final match of Barça's Asian tour against Malaysia on Saturday due to the injury.

However, the club are still hopeful that he will be fit to play on Sunday as the Catalans begin their La Liga title defence against Levante.