Bayern Munich vs Barcelona: Lionel Messi fit for Champions League semi-final tie
World Player of the Year Lionel Messi has been included in the Barcelona squad for the first-leg of their Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich on Tuesday.
Barcelona's Lionel Messi, who is struggling to overcome a hamstring injury, is fit to play in the club's Champions League semi-final first leg against Bayern Munich, the Spanish club's sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said on Monday.
"Messi is with the team and is fit to play, although it is ultimately up to the coaching staff to decide," the former Spain goalkeeper told reporters before Barcelona headed to Germany for Tuesday's match.
"We're not going to give up on fielding the best possible side on the pitch," he added.
The four-time world player of the year took a full part in training on Sunday morning and although he hasn't yet been fully cleared to play due to a hamstring injury by the club's medical staff, will be part of the 21-man squad that travels to Germany.
"Lionel Messi trained normally on Sunday morning and although he has not been given the medical all-clear, will be among the 21 players in the squad for the Champions League match against Bayern Munich," said a statement on the Barcelona website.
The Argentine star was injured in the quarter-final first leg against Paris Saint-Germain that ended 2-2 in the French capital.
He came on in the return fixture in Barcelona and inspired the home side to strike back from a 1-0 deficit before going through on the away goals rule. Messi is expected to start despite not having played since the second-leg of Barca's quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain on April 10.
Messi sat out the last two La Liga matches against Zaragoza and Levante to give him time to recover for the match in Munich.
Meanwhile, the absence of Adriano, Puyol and Mascherano mean that 22-year-old centre-back Marc Bartra is likely to partner Gerard Pique at the back.