Barça Hoping Maradona Will Keep Messi Pact

Barcelona are fearful that Diego Maradona will seek to end an agreement between the Catalan club and Argentina that Lionel Messi need not play in international friendlies.
The Blaugrana formed a pact with the country's Football Association (AFA) after agreeing to let their star play for the Albiceleste in the Olmypic Games during the summer.

That deal may not see Messi have to miss many matches, but he will not participate in the game against Scotland in Glasgow next month and will be able to rest in Barcleona.

But Maradona's imminent appointment as Argentina coach could bring about changes with the former Barça star wanting all his players available so that he practice with his first-choice squad.

Any change in the deal will have to wait until the new year, but one flash-point could come ahead of the February 11 friendly against France.

Barcelona could insist that Messi not be released, but that agreement is not binding and if Maradona insists then the player would have to report for international duty.

Messi suffered a serious injury at the start of last term and it was agreed with the AFA that he not play every game to avoid burn-out, given the demands already placed on him.

Lucas Brown,