Lionel Messi is ready to play after two months on the sidelines with a knee injury.
He might get his chance in front of a worldwide audience on Saturday.
Barcelona manager Luis Enrique said Friday that Messi has fully recovered from his torn MCL, but he isn’t sure if the world’s best player will be in the lineup Saturday against Real Madrid. A decision is expected to be made Saturday after Messi goes through warm ups.
Barcelona comes into Saturday’s match with 27 points from 11 La Liga matches, three ahead of Cristiano Ronaldo and Real Madrid. A Barcelona win would be crushing for Madrid, who would then trail by six points having already lost the home leg of El Clásico, but with a victory, they could spoil Messi’s return and move into a first-place tie.
Messi has missed 10 games, but 10 goals each from Neymar and Luis Suárez have meant that Barcelona has only lost once in his absence, a 2-1 defeat at Sevilla.
Messi, who suffered the injury on Sept. 26 against Las Palmas, is also hoping to play in Tuesday’s Champions League match against Roma.
At the age of 28, Messi has already broken almost every scoring record on the books. He has the most goals in La Liga history with 289, and sent a single-season record of 50 in 2011-12 – a mark that Ronaldo only missed by two last season. In 2012, he set a world record by scoring 91 goals for club and country in a calendar year.
He’s also been extremely successful at club level, winning seven La Liga titles with Barcelona and four Champions League finals, but hasn’t had as much luck with Argentina. He did win an Olympic gold medal in 2008, but lost to Germany in the 2014 World Cup final and Chile in the 2015 Copa America title match.