Arguably the world’s greatest footballer (although a certain Real Madrid player may beg to differ), Messi has been missing from action since picking up a thigh injury during a 4-1 victory over Real Betis in November. Many people wondered how Barcelona would cope without their talisman but Neymar and Pedro have stepped up to the plate in wonderful fashion.
Nonetheless the Barcelonistas will be ecstatic to see the Argentine wizard in action again. Messi has been recuperating in Buenos Aires but came through his first full training session last week without any ill effects. The Barcelona medical team have passed him fit to play and Messi himself will be chomping at the bit to start the match – it was at Getafe in 2007 that he scored possibly his most spectacular solo wonder goal.
Barcelona manager Tata Martino refuses to be drawn on whether Messi will start at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez, simply saying: “Messi gives us all a boost of confidence. With him at our side, we all fell more secure.”
Does this mean that Messi will start and who will make way for him if he does? In my opinion he will be on the substitutes bench for tonight’s clash – I expect Pedro to start, allowing Messi to make a ten minute cameo at the end of what should be a convincing Barcelona win. Martino will save Messi for the mouth watering top of the table clash on Saturday when Barcelona take on Atletico Madrid – and who would bet against the hit man scoring the winning goal at the Vicente Calderon?