Bartomeu: Messi should be fit to face Real Madrid

Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu says star forward Lionel Messi is on course to be fit to face Real Madrid on November 21.

Messi suffered a knee injury in the win over Las Palmas at Camp Nou on September 26 and was ruled out of action for six-to-eight weeks.

However, it was reported at the start of the month that the Argentina captain was a week behind schedule in his recovery programme and that he had no chance of making the first Clasico of the season.

Bartomeu, though, insists Messi has every chance of being available for selection for the top-of-the-table clash at the Santiago Bernabeu.

“I hope he can play as his recovery is within the timeframe we had set ourselves,” he is quoted as saying byMarca.

In addition, Bartomeu is praying that Barca will have a clean bill of health after the upcoming international break.

“I hope all of our players get through their trips with their national teams without injury and with great strength,” the Blaugrana supremo added. “We will then give our all to beat our rivals.”

Liga leaders Barca defeated Villarreal on Sunday to move three points clear of Madrid, who were surprisingly beaten at Sevilla later that evening.