FC Barcelona manager Luis Enrique has rubbished reports suggesting that Lionel Messi could be injured, while urging his side to cope up with the loss of talented Brazilian Neymar.
FC Barcelona host Deportivo La Coruna knowing that a win would mean they remain at the top of the table before their trip to Japan to participate in the Club World Championship. More importantly, the lead over hated-rivals Real Madrid would be 4 points provided the Bernabeu outfit matches FC Barcelona’s result.
Messi injury rumors quashed by Enrique
Prior to the game, rumors were rife that talismanic Argentine Lionel Messi might not be available for the clash against the side currently sitting sixth in the Liga BBVA table.
Quashing those reports, Enrique was quoted saying to Goal.com: “Here we go with the same routine of questions as always. No, Leo is fine, there’s nothing wrong with him at all. He is in perfect shape.
More good news for Barca on injury front
The Blaugrana manager also went on to confirm that midfielder Sergi Roberto was fit for the game, as well as Jeremy Mathieu was back and available at the back.
“Sergi Roberto is fine. He’ll get the medical green light. It’s great news that Sergi and Jeremy Mathieu are back. Sergi adds a lot to the team and he can play in several positions.
“Sergi Roberto is a quality player. In midfield we’ve had trouble this season. It’s always been a dificult area.
“He is a very versatile player and he’s a player who can support the attack, he drops into defence and he reads the game well – he knows how to create pressure.
“He’s an essential player to have and that’s just the start of his virtues.
“We face the match against Deportivo with caution. They are in sixth place and only lost one away match. They are working well at all levels.
Enrique looking for inspiration from elsewhere to cope up with Neymar loss
Neymar had pulled up in training ahead of Barcelona’s clash against Bayer Leverkusen in midweek, and is at risk of missing out on the Club World Championship.
Urging his side to cope up with his loss, he added: “What do we lose? A lot of things, individually it’s hard to compare players like Neymar with others but we have to find other solutions and make his absence noted as little as possible.
“It’s a question of looking through a global prism and adapting to his absence.
“His season has been very positive, but even last season and in his first year, he’s always been playing top-quality football.
“In his second season he set some fantastic stats and he’s continued to contribute a lot. He’s adapting very well to what this team needs. He’s a magical player who’s going to go down in football history.
“As well as everything he does for the team, he also scores goals so I’m very happy with what he’s doing.”