Barcelona are hoping that Lionel Messi will be fit enough for Wednesday's quarter-final clash with AS Roma in the Champions League.
The Argentine playmaker missed his country's friendlies during the international break with complaints of muscular problems. His compatriots beat Italy 2-0, but suffered an embarrassing 6-1 defeat to Spain, emphasising how important he is to any team he is a part of.
As a precaution, Messi sat on the bench for Barcelona's LaLiga tie with Sevilla at the weekend, although he came off the bench just before the hour mark to help his side come back from 2-0 down to draw 2-2.
Barça manager Ernesto Valverde sounded confident that Messi would be fit enough to start the knockout game.
“He didn’t start the game as a precaution. We think he will be fine for Wednesday. Of course, he’s an important player. He makes a difference every time he touches the ball.”
Luis Suarez was full of praise for Messi after the game as well.
“It’s to Messi’s credit that he keeps on demonstrating his class. But the work of the whole team, to keep going and not give up, is what stays with me.”
It would take a very serious injury to keep Lionel Messi out of a big game like tonight's against Roma, who they beat 6-1 in the group stages in their last meeting in 2015. Unfortunately for the Giallarosso, it seems like Messi will be fighting fit and ready to dish out another beating.