Pique ‘optimistic’ about Messi

Gerard Pique has revealed that he is optimistic about Lionel Messi’s availability for Barcelona’s trip to Celta Vigo in La Liga this weekend.

A foot injury ruled the No 10 out of Argentina’s recent friendlies against El Salvador and Ecuador, but the defender claims his clubmate is in good spirits and should be fit enough for the encounter at Balaidos on Sunday.

“I spoke with him, of course, and I’m optimistic. I think he’ll be fine for Balaidos, but it all depends on how he feels,” he said at a promotional event on Wednesday.

“[The Spain squad] understand the criticism. It hurts to lose, of course. We like to win, but we can’t [win] forever. We have to go slowly.

“I shouldn’t have to say this, but for all his hard work and the good atmosphere he brings, I’d like him to continue [at Barca].

“I think that the club are still capable of winning everything, [even without Xavi Hernandez]. He’s been the greatest while he’s been here.

“However, the club still existed after Pep [Guardiola], [Carles] Puyol and [Victor] Valdes all left. Xavi would leave a huge gap behind, but the club will continue to breathe [without him].

“[Danilo] will surely help Real Madrid. Defenders do a difficult job and it’s good that they value their defence.

“Madrid will be stronger [with him]. We have the handicap [of a transfer embargo], but we have to overcome it. Hopefully it won’t complicate things for us next year.”

Tags Dani Alves Danilo Gerard Pique Lionel Messi Xavi Hernandez