Barcelona are calm. The dressing room is calm. Ernesto Valverde is calm. And the Barça supporters? And Real Madrid? Speaking about Lionel Messi's fitness, with all respect to the rest of the mortals dedicated to playing football, is a point apart. As Jorge Valdano, whose colours aren't exactly a secret, says, "No one eats at the same table as Messi."
And, of course, when he is injured, when he breaks a bone in his arm or when he feels pain in his thigh, like against Valencia on Saturday, Barcelona worry.
On Tuesday, the day before Wednesday's Copa Clasico semifinal first leg, both Barça and Madrid fans are asking the same question: Will Messi play at Camp Nou?
The answer: "We will see." Take it, if you want, as a psychological position or a 'tactic' ahead of the game. It could be that Barça want to maintain this air of mystery about the best player to ever play the game's fitness.
Precaution, yes. There are no nerves inside the club, inside the dressing room or from the player himself. No one's panicking. There is just precaution. Since Saturday, the club have installed calm over Messi's thigh problem. There has been no official medical announcement like there was when Leo broke his arm because there's nothing serious.
It's true, though, that common sense advises against big risks. In the end, it will be Messi himself that decides. He's crazy to play in the game. Firstly, because he loves football. Secondly, because he missed the league meeting at Camp Nou, when Barça won 5-1.
The Argentine star had treatment on Monday. His availability for the Clasico could become known later in the day when we know if he takes part in training or not.
Valverde won't give much away because his press conference is before training. After training, he will name his squad. It's likely that Messi is included. It would be a magnificent sign. And on Wednesday the doubts will be cleared up. Barça and Messi want to win the Copa del Rey. Beating Madrid is key. But without unnecessary risks.
Source: Sport / Toni Frieros