Barcelona will not rush back Messi for Clasico – Luis Enrique

The four-time Ballon d’Or winner has left a hole in the Blaugrana line-up since limping off last month with a knee injury, but his coach insists he will only play if ready


Luis Enrique has insisted Barcelona will not take any risks with Lionel Messi and will only play him against Real Madrid on November 21 if he is 100 per cent fit.

The Argentina international has been out of action since picking up a knee injury in Barcelona’s 2-1 win over Las Palmas on September 26.

Messi has been working hard on his rehabilitation, but it is not known if he will be ready to feature in the Clasico.

“There is no set recovery date for Messi. The most important thing for him is to be 100 per cent fit again,” Luis Enrique stated at a news conference.

“It does not matter when he returns. The season is still long.

“We are not thinking about the Clasico yet. What is important to me is winning the league. We have to sit top of the table come the end of the season.

“The Clasico will not decide the title race. What matters to me right now is scoring more goals, conceding less and winning games. Those are realistic targets.”

Barcelona sit second in the Liga table with 21 points from nine games played, level on points with leaders Madrid, who have a better goal difference.

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