Barcelona’s Adriano backs Messi to be fit for Real clash

Barcelona, Nov 15 (IANS) FC Barcelona defender Adriano says he “would put money” on talismanic striker Lionel Messi being fit to play against Real Madrid in La Liga’s ‘El Clasico’ next week.

The four-time ‘World Footballer of the Year’ award winner has been absent for Barcelona since going off during a win over Las Palmas due to muscle problem in Septmeber.

But his teammate Adriano claims that Messi, who has been back in training this week, is likely to be fit for El Clasico on Saturday.

“He is recovering very well, doing everything to get to the game and to have him in the team changes a lot. 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,” Adriano was quoted as saying by on Sunday.

“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,” the Brazilian international added.

In Messi’s absence, Barcelona have been in fine form, losing just once in La Liga, and winning seven of their nine fixtures in all competitions.

The success has been in large part to the form of Messi’s fellow forwards, Neymar and Luis Suarez, and Adriano has paid particular credit to the former.

“There’s been a big development in all aspects, and now I think it’s hard to see Barcelona without him,” Adriano said of his compatriot.

“I’m happy for him because I always trusted him. Hopefully it stays like this, not only an example for Barcelona but for Brazil. He can make history here, and I think he, Messi and Luis Suarez will be Ballon d’Or finalists. There are no egos. They help each other and the whole team,” the 31-year-old former Sevilla player added.

“There’s a very good atmosphere and if you don’t get something here, your teammate is next to you and helps you.”

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