Lionel Messi deemed fit to play against Real Madrid on Wednesday.
During the La Liga weekend action, Barcelona came from behind to level the scoreline against a well organized Valencia side. Marcelinho’s side lead the game through Dani Parejo and Kevin Gamiero. However, Lionel Messi’s brilliance was enough to dent the visitors a victory.
The Argentine scored a penalty seven minutes after his compatriot Parejo found the back of the net. In the second half, when Valencia were defending deep, they were caught by Messi’s brilliance who launched a shot from outside the box to see the score at even parity.
Since Ernesto Valverde did not want anything lesser than a victory, the front three consisting of Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, and Philippe Coutinho stayed on the pitch until the end of the game. According to the Spanish publication AS, all three were deemed very tired after this clash on Saturday.
Lionel Messi has never scored against Real Madrid in the Copa Del Rey, facing them six times in the tournament.
He’ll want to change that tomorrow. https://t.co/1nf4jq4tN1
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) February 5, 2019
But, there was a moment in the game which caused heartache for Barcelona fans. Lionel Messi was forced to receive treatment on the sidelines following a hamstring injury when he went for the ball with Valencia’s left-back Toni Lato. There were initial fears that the number 10 would have aggravated his injury after playing through the pain barrier for the rest of the game.
After the game, Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde said that he does not know the extent for the recovery, but confirmed that the injury did not look bad at the moment.
“I don’t exactly what it is. It could be a small discomfort. We’ll wait to see what the doctors say, then evaluate things based on that. I imagine that he can’t be too bad, but I’m not able to reveal anything.”
There were several reports quoting that Barcelona’s leading scorer was nowhere to be seen in the training during Monday’s session. However, those fears have now been eased as the Argentine has now been deemed fit to start against Real Madrid in the first leg of Copa Del Rey Semifinals, according to Sport.
OFFICIAL: Lionel Messi has been included in Barcelona’s squad for tomorrow’s El Clasico after picking up a thigh injury against Valencia last weekend. pic.twitter.com/9vA273WcqD
— Squawka News (@SquawkaNews) February 5, 2019
It will come as a huge relief for the Barcelona manager who did want to lose out on Lionel Messi for the second consecutive time in the El Classico. When the last time these two sides went head-to-head, Messi-less Barcelona were rampant and won the game 5-1.
It will be a huge boost for Barcelona to see their man fit again. On the other hand, the Los Blancos have improved gradually under the management of Santiago Solari who were happy to have drawn Barcelona in the Semifinals than the finals.
The report added on that the Argentine’s side believes that they have a great chance of overcoming the Blaugrana in a two-legged tie than the prospect of facing them in the finals.
It will be interesting to see how Barcelona will respond to these claims on the pitch.