Lionel Messi is to miss Barcelona’s looming FIFA Club World Cup semi-final against Guangzhou Evergrande, the European champions have confirmed.

The Argentinian is suffering from renal colic, a type of abdominal pain commonly attributed to kidney stones, and joins Douglas on the sidelines for the meeting with Luiz Felipe Scolari’s side.

Messi’s future involvement, should Barcelona reach the final, will “depend on the outcome of further medical tests”, according to a club statement. The news is a major blow to the Catalan giants and also to the player himself, who told this week that he was relishing this return to the Club World Cup.

“It’s a really nice competition, one of my favourites,” said Messi. “Both because of its importance but also due to what it signifies: having won the Champions League [to qualify]. And it gives you the opportunity to round off the year in the best possible way. So, I’m very happy to be with all my team-mates, preparing for it. Our aim is to be able to lift that cup and then enjoy the holiday season with our families, with the championship in the bag.”