Lionel Messi trained by himself a day after Inter 1-1 Barcelona

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He's done really well and the goal will do him good.

"There's the worldwide break after this game and he'll have two more weeks".

"It's not fair that he's judged on one game in the cup because he had hardly played all season before that", he said.

Circumstances have helped. After Inter, came Real, who were in a mess, Cultural Leonesa, who play in Spain's third tier, and Rayo Vallecano, who are 19th in the table.

Those rumours have contributed to a hard start to life in Spain, which was perhaps behind the tears that followed his goal as he celebrated with his teammates in the corner of the San Siro pitch.

His goal at the San Siro, however, sent Barca through to the knock-out stages with two games to spare, even if Mauro Icardi's late equaliser denied the visitors victory in Group B.

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Barcelona have fared well in Messi's absence, winning their last four matches in all competitions and spectacularly beating rivals Real Madrid 5-1 in the first Clasico encounter of the season at Camp Nou - a result that led to the sacking of Julen Lopetegui.

Ernesto Valverde has the option to start Lionel Messi in a game which could guarantee top place in the group if they win, so it's likely to be a tempting proposition.

"We didn't give up after they scored and fortunately the ball bounced to me. there was a bit of luck that the ball arrived there".

"Ronaldo told me that if we equalled Real Madrid's offer then he would choose Barcelona, but it was a huge offer and we could not make such a big investment for a player who had left in that way", he said in an interview with Goal. The Argentine clearly loves playing football and, despite having won it all in his career, he is still trying his utmost best to recover quickly and return to first team action.

They're doing well and there's not a need to take risks.

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