For the second time in the last six weeks, Barcelona star Lionel Messi has vomited during a match.
Cameras caught the 26-year-old retching in the tunnel before last Sunday’s game against Athletic Bilbao.
This comes a little more than a month after he threw up during an Argentina friendly against Romania in Bucharest.
That incident prompted a wave of media inquiries into what’s going on with Messi’s stomach. While Messi, his coaches, and his doctors have thrown out a bunch of different theories, there isn’t one clear explanation.
Gerardo Martino told the BBC back in March that Messi went to a doctor, but the tests didn’t reveal anything:
“Something is not right, but it doesn’t affect his performance. It happens to him regularly. … He has even gone to see specialists at certain times but their tests have proved inconclusive.”
Argentina’s team doctor told Marca that it’s nothing to worry about, and listed a bunch of possible explanations:
“One cause can be physical and/or mental strain. The change in time zones — jet lag — and changes in diet also take a toll. Sometimes when people change their eating habits, it can trigger intolerance, leading to nausea and vomiting.”
Messi himself called it “no big deal,” saying, “Sometimes I accelerate very fast and the change in air intake causes me to heave. I felt completely fine at the end of the match”
It appears to be a strange but harmless ailment. It happens with great regularity, though.
Against Atletico Bilbao last week:
Against Romania in March of 2014: