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Messi: My retirement is approaching, time flies

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Barca's Messi will be fit to face Espanyol despite Argentina injury - sources

Shaka Hislop chooses not to get drawn into comparisons between Cristiano Ronaldo and Lionel Messi following the Argentine's 33rd La Liga hat trick.

Lionel Messi will miss Argentina's friendly against Morocco on Tuesday but Barcelona expect him to be fit to face Espanyol after the international break, sources have told ESPN FC.

Messi returned to the Argentina team for the first time since the World Cup as they lost 3-1 to Venezuela in Madrid on Friday, playing the 90 minutes but ending the match with a groin problem.

Argentina confirmed that he would return to Barcelona and would not travel with the squad for the game against Morocco.

But Barcelona sources said they were relaxed about Messi's injury. There will be no further tests when he returns to Catalonia, and he will be fine to feature against Espanyol.

Messi, who has scored 39 goals in all competitions this season, injured his thigh against Valencia in February and struggled with his fitness in the weeks afterwards.

He has returned to form in recent weeks, scoring twice in the Champions League win over Lyon and netting a hat trick in last weekend's victory over Real Betis.

But Friday's Argentina return provided further frustration on the international stage after the disappointment of an early World Cup exit had seen him take some time away from the side.

He returned to the squad this month for the friendlies against Venezuela and Morocco ahead of this summer's Copa America.

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