That is the opinion of Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu.

Messi will miss the Champions League clash against Inter Milan on Wednesday (8pm) as he fractured in his arm while falling awkwardly in the 4-2 win against Sevilla last Saturday.

The Argentine maestro is set to be out for up to three weeks and he will be out of the el Clasico clash with Real too.

But Bartomeu isn’t worried about how Barca will fare without the five-time Ballon d’Or winner.

He said: “Messi will be out for however long he needs to be.

“Without Leo we are still competitive, but the important thing is to move forward.

“We have to win, of course, and prepare ourselves. The players are conscious of where they are.”

Inter striker Mauro Icardi thinks the Catalan giants have been dealt a big blow over Messi.

He said: “It’s a pity Messi can’t be there because it’s nice to play against great footballers like him, who is one of the best in the world.

“He’s a big miss and it means we can go head to head [with Leo gone] because we have the qualities needed to take them on.”

And Barca boss Ernesto Valverde agrees with Icardi’s view, as he said: “It is clear that it is a sensitive low.

“In the end, it is about who he is and we know what he gives us.

“We all know what the opponent thinks when they play Leo.

“But we have to know that he will not be available and we have to face it.

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“We will prepare for it but of course we are going to notice the loss of Messi.

“There have been games that Leo has not played in. He is fundamental and he marks a lot of the team’s game, but we will try to keep our idea and take a step forward.

“We will miss him, win or lose, but we want to miss him winning.”

Daily Express :: Sport Feed


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