Barca optimistic about Messi, Madrid all fit for Copa semi

Barca optimistic about Messi, Madrid all fit for Copa semi

Messi, 31, injured his thigh during the weekend's draw with Valencia and was unable to train on Monday.

Messi returned to training on Tuesday and was included in the squad for the first-leg match at Camp Nou Stadium, although it was still unclear whether he had fully recovered from a right leg injury.

Barcelona's preparation for the Copa del Rey semi-final opener have been marred by a mini injury crisis which has seen Ousmane Dembele, Jasper Cillessen, Samuel Umtiti and Rafinha all ruled out.

"It was already complicated in January but with this semi-final at a very high level, more league games, more games in the Champions League knock-out stages, we have to walk a fine line". The biggest star on either team started the game on the bench, as Lionel Messi was not part of Barca's starting lineup.

Isco has been linked with a move away from the Santiago Bernabéu as he struggles for game time under head coach Santiago Solari.

After the match, Ernesto Valverde said he was hopeful the problem was not serious and Messi trained with his team-mates on Tuesday ahead of the Real Madrid clash. "With the experience Messi has, I don't think he's stupid enough to take the risk", he added.

"In a semifinal between Barca and Madrid there's no favourite".

'It's an open tie, we have great players but they do too, some of the best in the world'.

"Vinicius delights and plays better at the Bernabéu".

If Messi plays it will be because he is fit.

In view of their recent form, the Real Madrid players regain confidence in their chances of winning the historic treble.

"Your morale is very important and they tend to play well here".

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