Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi is likely to miss the remainder of 2013 after it was confirmed that he suffered a muscle tear in his left hamstring against Real Betis on Sunday.
The 26-year-old, who has won the last four Ballon d'Or awards, was substituted for Andres Iniesta in the first half of Sunday's La Liga match after pulling up sharply.
And Barcelona have now announced that their star player will miss the next six to eight weeks.
The Catalan giants went on to win beat Real Betis 4-0, with Cesc Fabregas netting a brace, but news of Messi's injury will have rocked the club.
Messi has been Barcelona's main source of goals for the past five seasons, with the Argentina international netting 96 league goals in his last two full campaigns.
In all competitions he has scored 14 goals in 16 matches this season - and Barcelona will be looking to summer signing Neymar for goals in Messi's absence.
The Brazil international has settled well since his move from Santos, scoring four league goals in his first 11 appearances.
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