Luis Enrique: Lionel Messi is in perfect shape; I've no doubts

FC Barcelona

Argentine star Lionel Messi is fit and ready to play as Barcelona ready themselves for a trip to Celta Vigo in La Liga.

Luis Enrique makes his first return to Balaidos on Sunday, his managerial home last season, as Barcelona take on Celta Vigo looking to maintain their lead at the top of La Liga.

Question marks over the fitness of Lionel Messi have dominated the headlines in the build up to the encounter. He didn't feature for Argentina in their friendlies against El Salvador and Ecuador, with national team boss Gerardo 'Tata' Martino claiming the player's injured foot was so sore he couldn't even don his boots to train.

Fast-forward to Saturday's manager press conference, though, and Luis Enrique insisted there are absolutely no fears about Messi, assuring in comments via the official FC Barcelona website: "He's trained every day. He's available to us and I don't have any doubts."

As for the source of the foot injury, with some claiming it came in the Clasico against Real Madrid while others pointed to the match against Manchester City in the Champions League, Enrique explained: "We knew he had a knock, which he hadn't received in the last game against Madrid, but the kind of discomfort he was in can be cured rapidly, or it can become complicated."

Asked if he'd made any specific requests to Argentina national team boss Martino to leave Messi out of the friendly games, Enrique responded: "At no time did we plan anything with the Argentine coach. It was a decision between the player and the coach."

In conclusion, and confident Messi is fully ready for 90 minutes against Celta Vigo on Sunday, Enrique underlined: "Since he's returned to Barcelona, he's trained in good condition. He's fully recovered."

Barcelona will be looking for all three points away at Balaidos on Sunday against Celta Vigo, keen to maintain their four-point advantage at the summit of La Liga above arch-rivals Real Madrid, who have a home game against struggling Granada at the Santiago Bernabeu.

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