Former Barcelona star Hristo Stoichkov has warned Real Madrid that the Clasico on Saturday “could be hell” for them.
The Bulgarian is known for his outspoken views on Los Blancos, having scored over 100 goals the Camp Nou giants over two separate spells, and he could not resist another dig at his bitter rivals.
“Right now, Barcelona are the best and three points clear and another important thing is if Messi returns from injury,” he told RAC1.
“They’re very motivated. Madrid are under more pressure because if they lose they’ll fall six points behind and then must win at Camp Nou. It could be hell for Madrid.
“Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez should be on the Ballon d’Or podium in January.
“Now that [Sepp] Blatter isn’t there, he can’t manipulate the votes. All the trophies went to Barcelona last season.
“If others didn’t win anything then why should they be there [referring to Cristiano Ronaldo]?
“[Messi] wants to play, but he has to think calmly. If he wants to play then he will, but the only ones who know whether or not he will play are Leo and Luis Enrique.
“Maybe he will come on in the second half and score a golazo [great goal]…
“[On the estelada], everyone must be able to express what they want without violence.
“We must let everyone enjoy waving their flags, although there’s always someone prohibiting such a thing.”