Vilanova: Messi fit for Atletico meeting
By Football News
Barcelona manager Tito Vilanova has insisted Lionel Messi will be fit for their potential title-winning clash against Atletico Madrid.
Messi came on in the second half against Real Betis last weekend, netting a double to inspire Barca to a 4-2 win and, although the Argentine's lack of fitness has been well documented in recent weeks, Vilanova is sure he will be able to play the full game at the Vicente Calderon Stadium on Sunday.
"He (Messi) has had a good week, he has trained well, to a very good level," Vilanova explained.
"If he is ready for 90 minutes we will see in the match, but in principle yes he is."
The Catalan club will secure their 22nd La Liga crown with victory in Madrid and despite a strong second half to the campaign from title rivals Real Madrid and a humbling loss to Bayern Munich in the UEFA Champions League, Vilanova believes his team will receive great credit for wrapping up what is set to be their only silverware of the season.
He added: "I do believe the league is given value, but we had such a good first half of the season that it gave the sensation that it was a league that had been won for a long time.
"Of course people will appreciate this title. We are competing against the best Real Madrid ever, as people say, the Real Madrid of the 100 points, so this gives us the credit."
Barcelona sit eight points ahead of Real and have a game in hand on Jose Mourinho's side, they will be crowned champions if they beat of Atletico or if Real fail to take maximum points from their game with Espanyol on Saturday.