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- The FC Barcelona team bus left Lionel Messi at Anfield on Tuesday because the player took too long to pee.
- Barça had just been beaten in the Champions League semi-final, and nobody seemed as dejected as Messi.
- The forward cut a forlorn figure, hurried through the mixed zone without speaking to the media, and had to submit a random urine test.
- But the Barcelona delegation left Messi there because it had a flight to catch, Business Insider has been told.
- A vehicle and an escort remained with Messi where he was then shuttled to the airport before everybody jetted back to Spain together.
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The FC Barcelona team bus left Lionel Messi at Anfield after its crushing 4-0 defeat to Liverpool FC on Tuesday night because the player was taking too long to pee during a random doping test after the match.
Barça had a 3-0 advantage from the first leg in Spain last week but was powerless to prevent a resurgent Reds team after two goals each from Divock Origi and Georginio Wijnaldum settled the match in Liverpool’s favor, who now advance to the Champions League final on June 1.
Even though Messi was ranked as Barcelona’s best player according to Whoscored.com data, having attempted five shots and supplied three chances for his teammates, the team was unable to score what could have been a critical goal and left the pitch dejected and empty-handed.
Messi cut a forlorn figure, hurried through the mixed zone without speaking to the media, and was called on for a random drug test, a Business Insider source with knowledge of the situation has confirmed.
Watch Messi shun the press below:
Spanish and British tabloids reported afterwards that the Barcelona team bus left Messi at Anfield, with various reports indicating that this was because he had to do a urine test.
The reason, Business Insider has been told, was because Messi was taking too long to pee. Barcelona still arranged for a car to wait for Messi, where he then joined the squad before the club jetted back to Spain together.
"There are some players from each team that are picked at random by the doping control after matches in the Champions League," our source said.
"They take names at random, and they’re the ones that have to submit to the doping control. One of the players was Messi. The team, the officials, managers, players … they wait for the player [but] at a certain point, the delegation prefers everyone leaves to go to the airport as the team, coaches, everyone has to go through the procedures at the airport with boarding passes."
Photo by Rich Linley – CameraSport via Getty Images
Business Insider was told that in the cases where a player is left, an escort and a "special vehicle" is arranged to shuttle the player back to the airport once he has passed the doping control.
"This is something that happens very, very, very often," the source said. "Not all players can pass the doping control at the same time. Some players submit a sample of urine quickly, some players take more time. The quick players pass the doping control, go with the rest of the team to the airport.
"If a player takes more time then the team waits to a certain point but the delegation thinks it’s better for everybody to start the procedures at the airport.
"That is very usual, and yesterday that was the case for Messi. If it was any other player, it would have been the same. [Clement] Lenglet, [Gerard] Pique … the decision would have been the same. We wait for the player at the airport, he takes the car, goes to the airport, and he joins the rest of the team and everybody flies back to the city — and that is the story, it is as simple as this."
Barcelona won the La Liga championship last month, but has two league matches left to compete — a game against Getafe at Camp Nou on Sunday, before a trip to Eibar the following Saturday.
It has a chance to win another competition at the end of the month when it takes on Valencia in the Copa del Rey final on May 25.
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