Lionel Messi is in a race against time to be fit for Wednesday’s Clasico Copa del Rey semi final first leg at Camp Nou.

While you will think that Real Madrid coach Santi Solari will be happy about the possible absence of Messi, he has instead declared that he wants the Argentine star fit to play against his team.

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.

Asked at the pre match news conference in Madrid whether he wanted his fellow Argentine to be available for Wednesday's game, Solari said it would be best for the spectacle for Messi to feature.

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

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Asked later whether doubt over Messi's participation would affect his side's preparation for the game, Solari smiled and added: "Not at all."

There are also selection issues at Madrid, with Solari likely to include either Gareth Bale or Vinicius Junior in his attack alongside Karim Benzema and Lucas Vazquez.

Asked whether Vinicius' recent displays made him undroppable, Solari replied more shortly that: "Nobody is undroppable in football."

Messi has scored in nine straight games in all competitions, and he is La Liga's leading scorer with 21 in 22 matches.

The 31-year-old was missing with a broken arm when Barca hammered Madrid 5-1 in La Liga's first Clasico of the season in October.

Madrid also face Barca in a Clasico at the Bernabeu on March 2 in La Liga, four days after the Copa semifinal second leg.


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