There are two words that strike fear into the heart of any Argentine. Not ‘vulture fund’, ‘blue dollar’ or ‘veda electoral.’ Not even ‘German penalty’, although we are getting closer.

No. Messi injured‘ represents a disaster for all those lovers of fair-minded and pure-hearted football from Buenos Aires to Bariloche. And it has happened. Again.

After several years where it appeared the Barcelona No. 10 and Argentina captain was essentially bullet-proof, the last 12 months have been riddled by aches, strains and tears. With the World Cup rapidly approaching, the collective heart of a nation was in mouths this Sunday when the Rosario wizard was taken off in some discomfort after 20 minutes of an away clash against Real Betis.

Medical tests on Monday confirmed that the Atomic Flea “has suffered a torn muscle in the femoral biceps of his left leg.” The muscle, part of the hamstring group, is exactly the same one that was injured in October, keeping Leo out for around a month. This time the prognosis is even worse, with the player expected to be on the sidelines for up to eight weeks.

Luckily Brazil 2014 is still more than half a year away, so let us not freak out just yet. But if anyone knows a good witch doctor, shaman or homeopath who can return the verve and vitality to Messi’s previously unbreakable body, now is the time to do it.

There is some consolation, however. Diego Maradona managed to play the entire 1990 World Cup campaign with an ankle that looked like a cantaloupe melon, and still dragged Argentina (and his hideous joint) to the final.

Where they lost.

To a German penalty.

A trifling muscle tear should not therefore hold back his rightful heir and new Argentine No. 10 superman for a minute. To inspire the Flea back to his best, I leave him with the inspiration of ‘El Diego’s’ left peg in all its glory. Come on Leo!!

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