Sport 'Messi has the energy for the World Cup' - Valverde brushes off Argentina's fitness concerns

20:46  16 april  2018
20:46  16 april  2018 Source:   msn.com

'He's the best' - Valverde hesitant about resting Messi despite injury worries

  'He's the best' - Valverde hesitant about resting Messi despite injury worries The Argentine has been suffering with injuries in recent weeks, but his coach is keen to see him remain on the fieldMessi suffered a muscular problem while away on international duty with Argentina at the end of March, ruling him out of friendlies against both Italy and Spain.

Paul Pogba might have gone off the boil lately, but before the New Year he was fantastic. His performances against the likes of Manchester City His 16 clean sheets top the Premier League ranks, and his reputation as the world ' s very best goalkeeper has only increased over the course of 2017-18.

Messi has played a pivotal role for Ernesto Valverde ’s side this season as they’ve chased glory on three fronts. And he’ll be hoping to follow up a potential La Liga, Champions League and Copa del Rey treble by impressing at the World Cup this summer. Lionel Messi sat out of Argentina ’ s

Lionel Messi in a blue shirt© Provided by Goal.com

Lionel Messi will have plenty of energy left for the World Cup and Argentina should not worry about their star forward, says Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde.

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A hamstring injury saw Messi sit out Argentina's March friendlies against Italy and Spain - the latter a crushing 6-1 defeat in Madrid.

Speculation about Messi's fitness has continued despite his form for Barcelona including a stunning hat-trick in a 3-1 home win against Leganes in LaLiga.

Valverde suggested Messi could sit out Tuesday's trip to Celta Vigo, as Barcelona face Sevilla in the final of the Copa del Rey at the weekend, but the coach has no concerns about the forward's condition.

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A Lionel Messi hat-trick was enough to see Argentina beat Ecuador on a scoreline of 3-1 and book their place in the World Cup 2018 next summer in Russia. AS Roma - Barcelona (1-4) Overconfidence is dangerous - Valverde sounds Roma warning for Barcelona.

World Cup . Messi missed Argentina ’ s two friendlies last month with a hamstring injury and was only a substitute in Barca’s 2-2 draw The 30-year-old was not among the goals in the first leg but hit a hat-trick in a 3-1 win against Leganes on Saturday, Ernesto Valverde opting against resting the superstar.

"It's a possibility that Messi rests, like others," Valverde told reporters.

"There's nothing to worry about, the other day [a 2-1 win against Valencia] he played a good game.

"They should be calm in Argentina because Messi still has a lot of energy left for the World Cup."

Barcelona have drawn two of their three matches against Celta Vigo this season, although Valverde's men were 5-0 winners in the most recent meeting in the Copa in January.

Celta are led by former Barca goalkeeper and assistant coach Juan Carlos Unzue and Valverde is wary of the threat posed by Maxi Gomez, who has hit 13 goals in his first LaLiga season to earn comparisons to Barca striker Luis Suarez.

"I think it will be similar to the game against us at Camp Nou in December and the first leg of the Copa del Rey," Valverde said.

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  Messi fitness concerns rejected by wary Roma after La Liga hat-trick heroics Barcelona's superstar forward sustained a hamstring injury last month, but upcoming Champions League foes have seen little to suggest he is not fitMessi missed Argentina's two friendlies last month with a hamstring injury and was only a substitute in Barca's 2-2 draw against Sevilla on March 31, but he was back in the starting line-up for the 4-1 victory over Roma at Camp Nou last Wednesday.

"It would have been uncomfortable for us if [ Argentina ] had to go through a playoff," Valverde said in a news conference on Friday. "I want all my players at the World Cup but I was a little worried about the playoff. It was a long journey to New Zealand and we may not have had [ Messi ]

WORLD CUP . Messi fitness concerns rejected. 09 Apr, 15:11. The 30-year-old was not among the goals in the first leg but hit a hat-trick in a 3-1 win against Leganes on Saturday, Ernesto Valverde opting against resting the superstar.

"They'll bring pressure up the field and try to stop us from getting out of our own half but we have to get past that. He [Unzue] knows what Celta have done well against Barca this season, it's an advantage for them and a disadvantage for us.

"It's true [Gomez] is like Luis Suarez but he is also different. He is a great shooter, very powerful on the attack and takes shots quickly and with strength. He is having a very good season, it's true that a lot of his success also has to do with the fact they play with another striker, he has a reference point and has been scoring, one of the surprises of the season for sure."

Although Ivan Rakitic will miss the trip to Celta with an injured finger, Valverde remains hopeful the Croatia midfielder will be fit to face his old side in Saturday's Copa final.

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