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Unwell Messi misses Club World Cup semi

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 Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (2nd R) trains with his teammates at the Club World Cup football tournament in Yokohama on December 15, 2015. PHOTO/AFP

Barcelona forward Lionel Messi (2nd R) trains with his teammates at the Club World Cup football tournament in Yokohama on December 15, 2015. PHOTO/AFP

JAPAN, December 17 – Barcelona forward Lionel Messi will miss Thursday’s Club World Cup semi-final against China’s Guangzhou Evergrande in Yokohama because of abdominal pain, the Spanish club said.

The Argentine wizard, who returned last month after a lengthy knee injury, is suffering from renal colic, a problem commonly caused by kidney stones.

“His future availability will depend on the outcome of further medical tests,” said a statement on Barcelona’s website.

Messi had appeared in good spirits since Barca arrived in Japan on Monday, joking with team-mates and signing autographs for local fans who turned out in their hundreds to watch their idols train.

Brazilian striker Neymar, who has been in a rich vein of form this season, will also miss the game as he recovers from a groin strain suffered in Barca’s European Champions League clash at Bayer Leverkusen earlier this month.

Luis Suarez, the third member of Barcelona’s vaunted strike-force, starts.

European champions Barcelona are attempting to become the first side to win the Club World Cup three times.

The Catalan giants beat Argentina’s  2-1 in 2009 and thrashed Brazil’s Santos 4-0 two years later.

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