FOOTBALL | IN BRIEF

Messi stretchered off
LIONEL MESSI could face a lengthy spell on the sidelines after being stretchered off during Barcelona’s victory at Atletico Madrid last night.

The Argentina wizard was left clutching his face in pain after injuring his ankle in a clash with Atletico defender Tomas Ujfalusi, who was subsequently sent off.

Messi scored the opening goal before Raul Garcia equalised for Atletico. Gerard Pique struck the Barca winner to put their title challenge back on track after last week’s shock 2-0 defeat to Hercules.

Messi, inset, is due to undergo further tests today but is already a doubt for their Champions League trip to Rubin Kazan next Wednesday.

Spurs legend Smith dies at 77
TOTTENHAM fans were in mourning yesterday following the death of the club’s striking legend, Bobby Smith, at the age of 77.

Smith scored 208 goals in 317 appearances for Spurs and was a part of the revered double-winning side of 1961.

“Bobby died at an Enfield hospital on Saturday following a short illness,” a Spurs statement read.

Smith started his professional career at Chelsea in 1950, and also enjoyed a spell at Brighton.

In a brief but successful international career, he also scored 13 goals in 15 caps for England.