Luis Enrique confirms Lionel Messi will be in the Barcelona squad for Saturday’s Clasico against Real Madrid but refused to disclose whether he would start.
The Argentine is set to end two months of injury agony when La Blaugrana travel to the Santiago Bernabeu this weekend, having been sidelined with knee ligament damage since September, but the Coach – while delighted with the player’s return – quickly noted that the No 10 was not “100 percent” fit.
“[Messi] has been feeling good since he re-joined the squad,” he said at a Press conference.
“He’s recovered and fit into the group dynamics, but we first need to talk and see how he is [in our final training session].
“He won’t be 100 percent but he’s such an important player and definitely seems to have recovered.
“I see all my players in training and you can feel many things, but it’s the player who perceives the feelings.
“Don’t be impatient [to the journalists asking if he would play or not]. It’s all good news.
“Regardless of whether he’ll play or not, the big news is that he’s recovered.
“[Ivan] Rakitic is in the same situation as Messi. He looks very good and has also recovered.
“I feel like an iceberg, I’m calm, so calm! I’m sleeping like an angel and having my best spell of sleep as a Coach. That’s what I said the other day to my wife…
“I’d prefer to experience the Clasico as a Barca player, no doubt, but it doesn’t matter.
“[On Gerard Pique being booed], I’m neither a Madrid member nor a fan, so it’s understandable that the Barca players will be booed.
“Some [will be booed] more than others, but that’s the beauty of football. I don’t see it as something violent but rather passionate.
“We can’t pretend that we’re going to the Bernabeu and not get booed, it would be laughable.
“It’s Week 12, if we use last season as a reference then [this game is] not decisive, but just the opportunity of picking up points and our opponents not doing so is interesting and stimulating enough.
“Still, it’s in no way crucial. This is the best way to give joy to Barcelona fans.
“Our feelings are all positive, not only for the position we occupy and the players who have recovered.
“I don’t care about who the favourites are, neither do we have an outstanding balance from last season’s [3-1] defeat.
“We took the lead and could’ve gone 2-0 up, but they were ultimately better than us.”