Vilanova: Messi could feature despite international involvement

Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova says he will gauge Lionel Messi’s fitness before Saturday’s clash with Getafe at the Coliseum Alfonso Perez.

The Argentine star played a full 90 minutes in his country’s World Cup qualifier with Peru on Wednesday, which ended in a 1-1 draw.

“I talked to him and he said he has recovered well. I’ll talk to him again before the game. It depends how he feels. Then I’ll decide what to do,” the 42-year-old was quoted as saying by Marca.

“There’s nothing we can do. We’ve got great players who get called up to their national sides. If we win our games no one will speak about the issue.”

The Blaugrana coach went on to say that he is not thinking about his side’s five-point advantage over Real Madrid in the Liga title race after the champions suffered a disappointing start to the season.

“I’m only concerned about what we do. We’re on nine points. There are so many points left to play for and the gap is too small to be looking over your shoulder.

“The aim is to win every game. We don’t think too far ahead. There is no point. Getafe is a difficult ground to go to.”

Vilanova also insisted that he would not rush back Spain international David Villa, who is still returning to full match fitness after having broken his leg in December, before he hits his physical peak.

“He’s ready to play. He might be able to start a game soon, but we’re not going to rush things,” said the Barca trainer.

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