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Family of world’s greatest footballer caught in gun attack

| 11.04.2011

In a week in which your side is due to play a Champions League quarter-final and a league match against arch rivals and nearest challengers Real Madrid, finding out that members of your family were attacked by gunmen isn’t ideal.

Barcelona may be on course for the treble, but Lionel Messi has more pressing concerns after his family were caught in a gun attack in Argentina.

Matias Messi’s Rosario house was attacked by unidentified gunmen on Friday night and it is believed both Matias and his mother were in the house at the time.

Fortunately there were no injuries reported with the bullets failing to penetrate the walls of the house and Messi seemed unconcerned when turning out for Barcelona on Saturday, scoring twice in a 3-1 win over Almeria.

It is unsure whether or not Messi will feature for Barcelona on Tuesday when Pep Guardiola’s side visit Ukraine for the second leg of their Champions League tie with Shakhtar Donetsk.

Barcelona lead 5-1 from the first leg and it would take a huge turnaround from Shakhtar if they are to qualify.

With a La Liga game against Real Madrid on Saturday, Guardiola may rest some of his first team stars for the Champions League tie which would allow Messi time to visit his family.

Barcelona are 11/10 to win on Tuesday night against Shakhtar and their opponents were unbeaten at home for 30 months until a shock home defeat on Saturday.

Guardiola would rather progress with a win but against a side with such a strong home record, it may be a case that Barcelona lose but still go through on Tuesday.

However Saturday’s game is huge as Guardiola looks to complete the double over Real Madrid after humiliating Jose Mourinho’s side 5-0 at the Nou Camp earlier in the season.

Mourinho lost a home league tie for the first time in 9 years a week ago and Guardiola will be hoping to heap further misery on the Special One and Barcelona are 6/4 to win.

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Robbie Morris

Robbie studied sports journalism at the University of Gloucestershire, an establishment chosen for its proximity to Cheltenham racecourse, where he was a season ticket holder. Upon graduation, Robbie was a contributor to GolfPunk, a national magazine aimed at ridding golf of its traditionalist image, before joining the news.ladbrokes team.