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Lionel Messi absence won't hurt Barcelona, insists Alves

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Barcelona defender Dani Alves believes that the La Liga leaders can cope without Lionel Messi when they meet Mallorca at the weekend.

The Catalan club play host to Gregorio Manzano's side at the Camp Nou looking to maintain their 12-point lead over rivals Real Madrid, but will be without four-time Ballon d'Or winner Messi.

The Argentine strained his hamstring in the 2-2 draw with Paris Saint-Germain in midweek, ruling him out of this weekend’s clash and possibly the return fixture against the Parisians on Wednesday.

With this Alves feels that it is a great opportunity for Barca to show they are far more than just a one-man team, despite the player's incredible goal record.

“The fact he is not going to be there is an incentive to show that we have the sufficient quality to compete without him and to show we can do just as well as when he is there,” the Brazilian told a press conference on Wednesday.

Messi wasn’t the only casualty from the game in France as Javier Mascherano was stretchered off with a lateral knee ligament injury that will rule him out for up to six weeks.

Add this to fact that Carles Puyol and Adriano are already missing through injury and it would seem that Barca might be without two recognised centre-backs.

However, the Brazilian full-back stated that he would be more than willing to deputise in the centre of defence, having played in a back three under former coach Pep Guardiola.

He added: “If I don’t remember wrongly, I have already done it with Guardiola when we played with a back three. I have the ability to adapt myself: if they ask me to attack, I attack; if they ask me to defence, I defend and if they ask me to do both, I will try to do so.

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