Barcelona midfielder Cesc Fàbregas believes his team-mate, Lionel Messi, who took a knock last night against Benfica in the Champions League, will make every effort to play this Sunday against Betis in the league, and try to break Gerd Müller's record of 85 goals in a calendar year, which the German achieved in 1972.
"Knowing him, Leo will want to play on Sunday. Today in the dressing room he was already asking if he would be able to play. Both for us and the world of football it's great that he is fine", said Cesc, talking at a promotional event in Barcelona.
Messi was taken off the field on a stretcher last night after clashing with Benfica keeper Artur, and was seen holding his left knee. He was given a scan after the game that confirmed that the injury was limited to severe bruising.
""We were a bit scared, because he doesn't end up on the floor often, but it's fine, thank God", said Cesc. The midfielder went on to explain that he considers that Messi is a "fundamental element" of the team, and if not "the most important player in the history of Barcelona" then at least "one of them".
Cesc also admitted he was keen to face his old club Arsenal in the next round of the Champions League, the draw for which takes place on 20 December. "I think that at this stage of the competition every team is going to be difficult, but I would love to meet Arsenal; to go back to London and play against all those people I shared my life with for so many years. It would be a very special tie for me", said the Barcelona player.