In a partnership headed up by UNICEF, Barcelona stars Lionel Messi, Sergio Busquets, Ivan Rakitic and Sergi Roberto took on the Spanish 5-a-side blind team ahead of the 2016 Paralympic Games in Rio.
Messi magic was certainly muted, but the 29-year-old Argentine still sneaked in a penalty shot, thanks to a lucky deflection off the post. His teammates, however, weren’t as lucky against the blind team, which uses a special noise-making ball in play.
The Spanish blind team will hope to continue dominating at the Paralympics, which kicked off in Rio de Janeiro on Wednesday night. Their first match will be against China on Friday.
Messi, meanwhile, is back with Barcelona after a shorter-than-planned international break. The superstar injured his left hamstring while captaining the Argentine national squad against Uruguay in a World Cup qualifier earlier this month. Messi scored the lone goal during the match to win the game, 1-0.
Barcelona released a statement on Monday allaying fans’ concerns, however. They said the injury wouldn’t require serious treatment, but just some rest.
“He has been recommended to lighten his training load over the next few days and his availability will depend on how the issue progresses,” the team posted on its website.
Barcelona, which stands second in La Liga behind Las Palmas, is scheduled to meet Alaves on Saturday.