Lionel Messi narrowly avoided a potentially serious injury after being violently chopped down by Adrian Martinez in Argentina’s 3-1 win over Venezuela in a World Cup qualifier.
The incident occurred in the first half of the qualifier, when Martinez jumped into a tackle late and slammed his studs into the top of Messi‘s shin, causing the forward to flop to the floor in agony.
After a quick VAR check the Venezuelan midfielder was rightfully shown a straight red because, well, he did nearly end the career of one of the greatest footballers of all time.
Argentina controlled the game thereafter, winning 3-1 thanks for goals from Lautaro Martinez, Joaquin Correa and Angel Correa. The win moves Argentina onto 15 points in second place in the South American World Cup qualifying group (which, if you’re wondering, is just one big group in which the top four teams qualify, with the fifth placed team going into an inter-continental play-off) – six points behind pace-setters Brazil.
Messi made a shock move away from Barcelona this summer after a trophy-laden 21 years on the books at the club, signing for Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain.
The Argentine forward made his debut for his new club in their comfortable win over Reims – replacing fellow South American superstar Neymar after Kylian Mbappe had given PSG a two goal lead.
Messi could make his first start for the club on the same day as Cristiano Ronaldo’s second debut for Manchester United – 11th September – when PSG face off against newly-promoted Clermont Foot at Parc des Princes.