Lionel Messi 'fit to play' against Bayern Munich

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Lionel Messi has been declared fit to play in Tuesday’s Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich, according to Barcelona director Andoni Zubizarreta.

The Spaniard – who has played more than 300 games for the Catalan giants – confirmed the Argentinian forward boarded the plane to Germany.

He told the official Barcelona website: “Messi is with the team and is fit enough to play, but the coaches will have to decide whether he does or not.”

The four-time Ballon d’Or winner picked up a hamstring injury in the first leg of their previous round against Paris Saint-Germain, but is said to have made a full recovery after a cameo in the second leg.

“We want to be sure that we have the best team in the field,” said Zubizarreta – a clear indication that Messi will start.

Barcelona have an impressive recent record against German opposition, winning five and drawing three of their last eight encounters.

However, Bayern Munich are widely-fancied in this year’s Champions League competition, and Zubizarreta is expecting a close contest against the Bundesliga winners.

“It will be a demanding match,” he summarised. “When you get this far, you already know how difficult it will be.

“The time has come to finish off the good work we’ve been doing all season. We are capable of competing through difficult times and that’s the mentality we’re taking with us to Munich,” he said.

Barcelona have reached the semi-final stages of the competition for the sixth successive season, and their chances of progressing further would undoubtedly be increased by Messi’s inclusion in the squad.

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