SEVILLE (Sporting Alert) — Lionel Messi has recovered from a knee injury and will play against Real Betis in the Spanish La Liga on Sunday.
Messi was carried off the pitch in midweek after colliding with Benfica goalkeeper in Barcelona’s Champions League 0-0 draw and was a serious doubt for the contest on Sunday.
However, the Argentine international has recovered from a knee problem – paving the way for him to try and surpass Gerd Mueller’s 40-year-old record for most goals in a calendar year.
He’s currently at 84 and needs just one to draw level with Mueller.
The entire team wants to see the scoring machine to break the record, but Barcelona coach Tito Vilanova says Messi was included in the squad because he’s been cleared to travel.
An injury hasn’t prevented the 25-year-old from playing a game since September 2010 and barring a setback, he’s expected feature.
“(Messi) feels fine, he isn’t bothered (by the knee),” Vilanova said on Saturday. “If he is traveling, it’s because he’s in condition to play. It there existed even the smallest risk, he wouldn’t travel with the team.”
Also travelled with the Barcelona team to Seville, were forward Alexis Sanchez and Dani Alves, who have both recovered from injuries as well.