Lionel Messi says El Clasico win will give FC Barcelona a happy Christmas

Winning Saturday’s El Clasico against Real Madrid C.F. would ensure FC Barcelona enjoy some Christmas cheer, says Lionel Messi.

football Updated: Dec 18, 2017 22:43 IST
By Jamie Smith
By Jamie Smith
Omnisport
Lionel Messi,FC Barcelona,Real Madrid C.F.
Lionel Messi is confident FC Barcelona will win this weekend’s El Clasico against Real Madrid C.F.. (AP)

Lionel Messi wants FC Barcelona to beat Real Madrid C.F. in Saturday’s Clasico clash to ensure his side can enjoy a merry Christmas.

Barca head to the Bernabeu to take on their old rivals with an 11-point lead from Madrid in the La Liga table, Barca sitting six points clear from second-placed Atletico Madrid.

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Victory for Ernesto Valverde’s men would give Barca an overwhelming lead from last season’s champions, who have a game in hand due to their trip to the Club World Cup.

And Messi, who missed out on this year’s Ballon d’Or to Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo, is keen for Barcelona to go into the winter break on a high.

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“It would be important to win for what it means, it’s always a special game,” Messi said. “Real Madrid, at their stadium... winning is an important advantage.

“There would still be a lot of league games left, but it would be nice to be able to end the year with a victory and spend a happy Christmas.”

Messi, speaking at a gala where he collected the Pichichi and the Alfredo Di Stefano Trophy – to honour the top scorer in La Liga for 2016-17 and the player judged to be the best in the division by Spanish newspaper Marca respectively - also considered the prospect of his Argentina meeting Spain at next year’s World Cup.

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“I do not know if a final with Spain would be a dream,” said the 30-year-old, who was denied by a 1-0 final defeat against Germany in 2014.

“It would be something incredible to be able to play in a World Cup final again.

“First we have to think about the group, which is difficult, and then we will see what happens.”

Argentina have been drawn alongside Croatia and Nigeria in a tough Group D, with Messi’s men set to open their campaign in Russia against World Cup debutants Iceland.

First Published: Dec 18, 2017 22:41 IST