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FC Barcelona

"When something happens to Messi, the world stops..."

Ernesto Valverde believes that Lionel Messi's injury is not too serious after the Barcelona star was force off in Tuesday's win over Villarreal.

Valverde: The world stops when something happens to Messi

Barcelona head coach Ernesto Valverde said the world stopped when something happened to Lionel Messi as he discussed the star's latest injury worry.

Barça concern over missing Messi

Messi was substituted at half-time of Barca's much-needed 2-1 LaLiga victory over Villarreal on Tuesday due to an adductor injury.

The Barca captain was making his first start of the season after battling a calf injury and Valverde said he was simply unwilling to take risks with the 32-year-old.

"When something happens to Messi the world stops, not only here," he told a news conference.

"I don't think it's serious. We don't want to take any risks. We will see tomorrow [Wednesday], I can't tell you anything now.

"He has been injured for a long time and we don't want to take any risks at the moment."

Antoine Griezmann and Arthur scored to see Barca to their victory, easing the pressure on Valverde after a slow start to the season.

Valverde talked up the importance of the result for his team after their shock loss to Granada on Saturday.

'Like a cup final'

"Sometimes you get it right and sometimes you get it wrong. We played three days ago, rotations are always needed in these sort of occasions," he said.

"This was a cup final for us, we lost the last match. We needed fresh players in midfield especially.

"Villarreal are a good team, [Karl Toko] Ekambi is a very dangerous player, he's very fast. [Santi] Cazorla and [Gerard] Moreno are brilliant as well."

Fourth in the LaLiga table, defending champions Barcelona make the trip to Getafe on Saturday.