Lionel MESSI double secures draw for FC Barcelona against Valencia

Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Barcelona Champions League 2018-19

Lionel Messi Luis Suarez Barcelona Champions League 2018-19More

Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari hopes FC Barcelona captain Lionel Messi is fit to face his side in Wednesday's Copa del Rey semi-final first leg for the good of the game.

Messi is a doubt for the game having picked up a thigh problem in Saturday's 2-2 La Liga draw with Valencia, with tests to determine the extent of the injury due on Tuesday.

"But risking the fitness of any player - Messi or anyone else - I'm not really in favour of it because they inevitably play with some fear, and games like tomorrow can not be played with fear".

Shortly before training, Valverde had said in a press conference: "I have not seen him yet and I don't have an answer".

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The debate that can inspire an opinion from just about any fan around the globe concerns the relative merits of Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo.

It may be impossible to definitively judge who is the better player until they have both retired and we have perspective. We have a week off next week, no Champions League game, so we will get a rest then.

While Madrid have been far from their best this season, the absence of Messi would go a long way to levelling the playing field in Wednesday's cup tie, which will take place at the Camp Nou.

"In football, it is good for the best players to play in all games", Solari said.

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Barça reached the semi-finals of the Copa del Rey after coming back from a two goal deficit to thrash Sevilla 6-1 in the second leg at the Camp Nou.

Ousmane Dembele, who also trained after recovering from two weeks out with an ankle sprain, has not been named in the squad.

"We will see how he feels, he is on track", Valverde said.

Valverde said he would make a final decision on Messi after consulting with the player and the club's medical team. "If Messi's ready he will play, if he's not he won't".

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"But we still haven't hit the decisive part of the season yet". They appear a team transformed since the 5-1 defeat by Barca in October.

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