Messi, 31, was included in the squad to travel to Italy this week and reports in Spain suggested the Argentina maestro was keen to feature in order to boost his Ballon d'Or aspirations before next month's award ceremony. "What we will not do is take any risks".
Barcelona have fared well in Messi's absence, winning their last four matches in all competitions and spectacularly beating rivals Real Madrid 5-1 in the first Clasico encounter of the season at Camp Nou - a result that led to the sacking of Julen Lopetegui. More than anything because he is one more [player] and so we have more to choose from. "Of course, it is necessary to get Messi back as soon as possible".
The Catalan giants can clinch top spot in Group B by beating Inter at San Siro on Tuesday, but Valverde is expecting Luciano Spalletti's side to pose a tougher challenge than they did in their first meeting.
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"In the last few years it has been hard for us to win away from home, but at Wembley [against Tottenham] we played a great game and we hope to repeat it". "But I don't want to get ahead of ourselves too much". We are going to prepare for the game.
'They are already at the level that we are looking to reach. "Getting through the group depends on us and this should make us concentrate fully and act in the right manner". It's the same for Inter.
Just as it seemed they would inflict a second defeat of the season on the champions, though, Ousmane Dembele equalised with a terrific half-volley in the 87th, before Suarez turned in his second to snatch three points for Valverde and co. Tomorrow, we must do better in regaining possession because they do not like it when the opposition has the ball.