Madrid:Barcelona star Lionel Messi said on Thursday he hopes the Spanish champion will allow him to miss the season opener so he can travel to prepare for Argentina's World Cup qualifier against Brazil.
Barcelona's first Spanish league match is against Sporting Gijon on Aug. 31, while Argentina face a crucial World Cup qualifying clash against South American group leader Brazil on Sept. 5.
"I'll play until the 28th and later I want to ask the coach if I can have permission to go, and miss the first game so I can prepare for the match against Brazil," Messi said on arrival at Barcelona airport from Moscow.
Barcelona plays Shakhtar Donetsk in the European Supercup on Aug. 28.
Messi missed Wednesday's friendly match between Argentina and Russia after national team coach Diego Maradona said he would not risk playing him because he had problems with a right-leg muscle during training the previous day.
Maradona had initially objected to the match being played, fearing injuries ahead of the Brazil game. Argentina is just holding on to the fourth and final automatic qualifying place for next year's World Cup in South Africa.
"I'm OK," said Messi. "I just need to take it easy, start training and do the tests with the doctor."
"I feel well. When I noticed the problem I got a little bit scared but now I hope to be able to play, and although we're at the beginning of the season, it's better to be careful now rather than be out of action for more time later."
Messi will almost certainly miss the first leg of the Spanish Supercup on Sunday between Barcelona and Athletic Bilbao. The return match is Aug. 22.