Betis Coach Hoping Messi Catches a Cold

Real Betis coach Rubi has joked he hopes Barcelona star Lionel Messi comes down with a cold ahead of his expected return from injury in La Liga on Sunday.

Messi missed the Catalans’ season opener last weekend through a calf complaint, with Athletic Bilbao claiming a late 1-0 win in his absence.

Much to Rubi’s dismay, the Argentine attacker has returned to full training and will likely play some part against Betis.

While he accepts Messi could well start the contest, Rubi has his fingers crossed a flu might just strike him down and give his side one less thing to worry about.

“I think Messi is going to play from the start. It’s what I think,” Rubi said.

“I’d prefer Messi to have a cold, not an injury, but a cold so he cannot play.

“We have to go with a point of courage but knowing that any player they put out will be good.”