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Barcelona's Messi should be fit for Celta game, Pique says

Reuters , Thursday 2 Apr 2015
Lionel Messi
Barcelona's Lionel Messi controls the ball during a Champions League round of 16 second leg, soccer match between FC Barcelona and Manchester City at Camp Nou stadium, in Barcelona, Spain, Wednesday, March 18, 2015. (Photo: AP)
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Lionel Messi should be fit to play in Barcelona's La Liga game at Celta Vigo on Sunday despite a scare over a possible foot injury, centre back Gerard Pique said on Wednesday.

Messi, the top scorer in La Liga, did not feature in either of Argentina's friendlies during the international break after sustaining a blow to his right foot in last month's 'Clasico' against Real Madrid.

"I am optimistic about Messi, I have spoken to him," Pique told reporters at a promotional event.

"I think that he can play at Balaidos (Celta's stadium)," added the Spain international, who came through Barca's youth academy with Messi.

"In the end it is up to how he feels during the rest of the week. The medical staff are those who should decide. My feeling is that he will play."

Barca's 2-1 win at home to Real stretched their lead over their arch rivals at the top of La Liga to four points with 10 games left.

Second-placed Real, who host Granada on Sunday, have stuttered in recent weeks and the 2-1 defeat at the Nou Camp was their third loss in their last four outings in all competitions.

Barca, by contrast, are on a seven-match winning run and in with a chance of repeating 2009's unprecedented treble of Champions League and Spanish league and Cup after failing to secure major silverware last term for the first time in six years.

They play Paris St Germain in the quarter-finals of Europe's elite club competition and are through to May's King's Cup final against Athletic Bilbao.

"We know it is going to be very hard and we will have to be at a high level if we want to win the titles," Pique said.

"We have the team and we have demonstrated an improvement over the past year, the level has been rising and has given us a lot of confidence."

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