The Argentine played a key role in helping Barcelona edge past Ajax 2-1 on Tuesday and now has Los Blancos firmly in his sights ahead of Saturday’s showdown at the Bernabeu
Lionel Messi served Real Madrid with a pre-Clasico warning by claiming his relationship with Neymar was improving by the game.
The South American duo combined once more to see off Ajax in the Champions League on Tuesday, Messi’s mazy run and pass providing Neymar with the opening goal in a 2-1 victory at Camp Nou. Messi himself scored the second.
Next up for Barca is Saturday’s showdown with a Real Madrid side who first meet Liverpool at Anfield on Wednesday.
Messi told TV3: “Luckily we now understand each other better and we can score for the team. That’s the most important thing.”
Barca’s already formidable forward line will be bolstered further at the weekend by the introduction of Luis Suarez who could make his highly-anticipated debut after completing a four-month ban for biting Giorgio Chiellini at the World Cup.
“We all are looking forward to seeing Suarez with us. He is a great forward and will give much to us,” added Messi.
Tuesday’s win over Ajax was more comfortable than the scoreline suggested with Barca not making the most of their numerous opportunities.
Coach Luis Enrique said: “We didn’t manage to see the game out and we let our opponents have chances. I am still proud of our performance though.
“We were stronger than Ajax and deserved the victory.”
The former Barca midfielder denied he had withdrawn Messi, Neymar and Andres Iniesta with the weekend game in mind.
“The Real Madrid game is another competition,” he said. “I made the substitutions thinking solely about tonight.
“There is no one above us in La Liga table, we are doing fine.”
Defensive midfielder Sergio Busquets missed the Ajax clash through injury and Luis Enrique confirmed it was touch and go on whether he would be fit for the trip to the Bernabeu.
“I believe Busquets will be able to play but we will have to wait and see,” he said.