English

english

as de espadas
torero con estoque

LIGA BBVA | BARCELONA | VILANOVA

Tito: "Messi is going to Seville because he is ready to play"

"It's understandable that everyone was shocked, he is a vital player to us. Once he was examined and tests revealed it wasn't serious, everyone was able to calm down."

As.com

Tito: "Messi is going to Seville because he is ready to play"

The question of whether Leo Messi would feature in Barcelona's match with Real Betis on Sunday dominated Tito Vilanova's pre-match press conference.

Messi has been included in Barça's squad for the trip to Seville and Vilanova explained that Messi was ready to play, but said he would wait until the day of the game to decide if he will name him in his starting line-up.

"He is in good shape after the training work he did yesterday," said Vilanova. "He's fine and has no complaints with his condition. We won't take any risks, not with Messi or any other player. If he wasn't feeling well, he wouldn't travel, and the fact that he is travelling with us means he is ready to play. We'll make the decision tomorrow, but unless he injures himself in the warm up, he'll play."

Vilanova also explained what a relief it was when they learned the Argentine forward's injury was not severe.

"It's understandable that everyone was shocked, he is a vital player to us. Once he was examined and tests revealed it wasn't serious, everyone was able to calm down. But I'm sure fans of any other team would have felt the same way if they thought one of their most important players was injured."

And Vilanova was impressed with Messi's attitude during the whole saga.

"Once again he has shown that he always wants to play. We are very happy because he makes us even stronger but we already knew how committed he was to the team."

The Benito Villamarín stadium was the scene of Real Madrid's last league defeat and Vilanova is more than aware of how difficult the game will be for his side.

"They always make things difficult for us. I like teams like Betis, that put pressure on you up front and keep things tight at the back, but I know it will be a tough game. Even when they were in the second division and we played them in the Copa they gave us a good game and threatened to overturn a 5-0 deficit from the first leg. They are a great team and the fact that they beat Madrid is proof of that."

Estadísticas AS.com