Although he had previously been ruled out of the upcoming El Clasico, FC Barcelona star Lionel Messi has been taking giant steps towards recovering in time for the top of the table clash, according to Messi’s teammate Adriano Correira.

 

As the first El Clasico of the season approaches, FC Barcelona find themselves three points clear of arch rivals Real Madrid CF at the top of the La Liga table. However, since the fixture is at the Santiago Bernabeu in Madrid, the Catalans would like to take all the support they can get.

Barca fulback Adriano believes that Messi has been making good progress with his hamstring injury, and might well be available for the crucial match this weekend.

“He is recovering very well, doing everything to get to the game and to have him in the team changes a lot,” said Adriano to Mundo Deportivo (via Daily Mirror). “Every day he’s been the Leo we’re accustomed to: laughing, joking, and doing things with confidence. Would I put money on him playing in the Clasico? Hopefully, yes.”

Although Messi has been absent from action, his fellow South American forwards Luis Suarez and Neymar have stepped up to the plate and carried FC Barcelona through some tricky fixtures to the top of the table. However, Adriano believes that the Argentina captain’s presence imparts an extra bit of confidence to the team.

“There’s a difference when he plays or doesn’t, but in his absence we’ve managed to come together and move forward in matches,” says Adriano.

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Messi to train with first team soon?

The FC Barcelona vice-captain reportedly trained on Thursday, but went through with the training regime alone, away form the rest of the players. However, according to Mundo Deportivo, Messi is set to train with the first team this week, in order to get in proper shape ahead of the El Clasico.

Although he is not expected to start the game for FC Barcelona, reports in Spain suggest that he might come on for the last 30 minutes, if the situation requires. Earlier reports have suggested that manager Luis Enrique would not be rushing Messi’s recovery for the El Clasico. However, with the recent developments, it would be interesting to see what the 45-year-old does.