Barcelona refuses to rule Messi out for Club World Cup final

  • AP, Yokohama
  • Updated: Dec 18, 2015 23:05 IST
A file photo ofSpain's Barcelona forward Lionel Messi attends a football practice session in Yokohama, a suburb of Tokyo. (AFP Photo)

Spanish champions FC Barcelona announced on Friday that they will not be ruling out Lionel Messi’s involvement in the final of the Club World Cup on Sunday.

The Argentina forward missed Friday’s training, and was absent from the 3-0 semi-final win over Guangzhou Evergrande with renal colic, a type of abdominal pain commonly attributed to kidney stones.

“All the situations are open. What the manager (Luis Enrique) said is that we have to evaluate, hour after hour, how he is feeling,” Barcelona media officer Chemi Teres said. “I don’t know if it is renal colic or kidney stones, or something else in this area.”

Neymar’s prospects of playing in the final against Argentine club River Plate appear to be improving.

The Brazil striker sat out Barcelona’s training on Monday and Tuesday before doing some workouts at the start of Wednesday’s session.

Neymar came on as a substitute in the semifinal match, but stepped up his training routine on Friday, running the perimeter of the field with a coach. He then did some dribbling drills and sprinting with the ball, isolated from the other players.

Dani Alves missed Friday’s practice with a bruised foot, but is expected to be fit for Sunday’s match. Barcelona is bidding to win the tournament for a record third time after titles in 2009 and 2011.

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