Skip to main content

Messi fit to resume bid for goal record

updated 6:19 PM EST, Sat December 8, 2012
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi returned to training on Saturday following an injury which threatened to wreck his record bid.
Barcelona forward Lionel Messi returned to training on Saturday following an injury which threatened to wreck his record bid.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Lionel Messi named in Barcelona squad for Sunday's La Liga trip to Real Betis
  • Argentine has recovered quickly from injury that threatened his world record bid
  • Messi is one goals short of Gerd Muller's record of 85 in a calendar year
  • Real Madrid come from behind to close gap on second-placed Atletico

(CNN) -- Lionel Messi's bid to break Gerd Muller's record for goals in a calendar year is back on after the Argentina star was named in Barcelona's squad to travel to Real Betis on Sunday.

Messi, who is one short of the German's 1972 milestone mark of 85, has made a quick recovery from the injury he suffered on Wednesday that had football fans around the world so worried.

"He completed training on Saturday without any kind of trouble," coach Tito Vilanova said on Barca's website.

"There are still a lot of hours until kickoff and we'll all evaluate the situation together and decide whether he'll play the full 90 minutes or just part of the match.

"The important thing is that he's feeling okay ... But he could easily wake up in the morning and tell us he's feeling pain again."

Mapping Messi's annus mirabilis

Lionel Messi, center, celebrates with Barcelona teammates Cesc Fabregas, left, and Xavi Hernandez after matching Pele's 75 goals in a calendar year. Lionel Messi, center, celebrates with Barcelona teammates Cesc Fabregas, left, and Xavi Hernandez after matching Pele's 75 goals in a calendar year.
Messi magic
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
>
>>
Messi moves past Pele milestone Messi moves past Pele milestone
Fernando Torres scored twice as Chelsea crushed Danish side Nordsjaelland 6-1 at Stamford Bridge but it wasn't enough to save them from elimination from the Champions League. Juventus picked up a 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk to secure its place in the last-16 and dump Chelsea into the Europa League. Fernando Torres scored twice as Chelsea crushed Danish side Nordsjaelland 6-1 at Stamford Bridge but it wasn't enough to save them from elimination from the Champions League. Juventus picked up a 1-0 win at Shakhtar Donetsk to secure its place in the last-16 and dump Chelsea into the Europa League.
Down and out
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Champions League action Champions League action
Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left) and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) -- widely considered the two best players in the world -- shake hands before the 'El Classico' derby between Spain's two biggest clubs. But is the huge wealth of Barca and Real damaging the rest of Spanish football? Barcelona's Lionel Messi (left) and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo (right) -- widely considered the two best players in the world -- shake hands before the 'El Classico' derby between Spain's two biggest clubs. But is the huge wealth of Barca and Real damaging the rest of Spanish football?
Spanish duopoly
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
>
>>
Spanish football hit by sponsorship cutbacks Spanish football hit by sponsorship cutbacks
Daniel Craig and Cristiano Ronaldo have both been outspoken in their desire to reclaim a right to privacy. Both men have become frustrated with their treatment in public. Daniel Craig and Cristiano Ronaldo have both been outspoken in their desire to reclaim a right to privacy. Both men have become frustrated with their treatment in public.
007 and CR7
HIDE CAPTION
<<
<
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
12
13
14
15
>
>>
The Real Ronaldo The Real Ronaldo

Messi injured his knee after coming on as a substitute in the 0-0 Champions League draw with Benfica, prompting fears that he would miss Barcelona's last four games of 2012.

"When I first felt the knock, the pain made me imagine I'd be out for many months," he said.

However, he announced the following day that the injury was not serious -- and now it appears he is fit to face fifth-placed Betis.

"If he travels it's because he's ready to play. If there was the slightest risk, he wouldn't be going," Vilanova said.

"I think Messi was comforted when he found out that it's not a serious injury. If he wants to be in the squad because he's not feeling any trouble, then so much the better for us.

"But he doesn't need to make this kind of effort to show how much he loves this sport."

Barcelona went into the weekend six points clear of Atletico Madrid, who host Deportivo La Coruna earlier on Sunday.

Champions Real Madrid closed to within two points of Atletico after coming from behind to beat seventh-placed Valladolid on Saturday.

Angolan striker Manucho twice put the home side ahead, but Germany midfielder Mesut Osil scored his second goal of the match with a superb 72nd-minute free-kick that went in off the underside of the crossbar to clinch a vital win for Real.

Jose Mourinho brought on Angel Di Maria and Luka Modric in the second half to boost his attacking options, then was able to substitute opening goalscorer Karim Benzema late in the match with Real ahead.

Malaga, like Real and Barca through to the last 16 of the Champions League, moved up to fourth on goal difference after a 4-0 win at home to Granada.

Joaquin and Javier Saviola scored in the first half, while Ignacio Camacho and Roque Santa Cruz netted late in the second to leave Granada third from bottom.

In Italy, veteran striker Francesco Totti scored twice as Roma moved up to fourth place in Serie A with a 3-2 win at home to Fiorentina.

Fiorentina could have moved above third-placed Inter Milan, but went 3-1 down as Totti netted his second in first-half injury time.

Moroccan striker Mounir El Hamdaoui reduced the deficit immediately after the interval but Totti set up Argentina-born Italy international Pablo Osvaldo for his eighth goal this season to put the capital side above the visitors on goal difference.

Atalanta moved up to seventh with a 2-1 win over mid-table Parma, as veteran Argentine striker German Denis netted the opener for his sixth goal in Serie A this campaign.

Defender Federico Peluso made it 2-0 before Brazilian Amauri reduced the deficit just before halftime.

Valencia beat Osasuna 1-0 in Ernesto Valverde's first game as coach, moving up to 10th in the table thanks to a 55th-minute goal from Spain striker Roberto Soldado.

ADVERTISEMENT
Part of complete coverage on
updated 9:48 AM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
A man as a Roman centurion and who earn his living by posing with tourists gestures in front of the Colosseum during a protest where some of his colleagues climbed on the monument on April 12, 2012 in Rome. The costumed centurions are asking for the right to work there after they were banned following a decision by local authorities.
From the ancient ruins of Rome, a new empire rises. But the eyes of the city's newest gladiator light up at thoughts of the Colosseum.
updated 12:22 PM EDT, Tue October 21, 2014
Once part of Germany's largest Jewish sports club, now he's the first ISIS suspect to stand trial in a country left shocked by his alleged radicalization.
updated 10:11 AM EDT, Fri October 17, 2014
One goal in eight matches for new club Liverpool, and dumped by the Italian national team -- Mario Balotelli has yet to shine on his English return.
updated 2:19 PM EDT, Sat October 18, 2014
Ched Evans smiles during the Wales training session ahead of their UEFA EURO 2012 qualifier against England on March 25, 2011 in Cardiff, Wales.
Should a convicted rapist, who has served their time in prison, be allowed to resume their old job? What if that job was as a high-profile football player?
updated 8:47 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
After 10 years of golden glory, it's easy to see how Lionel Messi has taken his place among the football gods.
updated 6:34 AM EDT, Thu October 16, 2014
A football fan wipes a tear after Inter Milan's Argentinian defender Javier Zanetti has greeted fans following the announcement of his retirement before the start of the Italian seria A football match Inter Milan vs Lazio, on May 10, 2014, in San Siro Stadium In Milan
When will the tears stop? A leading Italian football club is pursuing a new direction -- under the guidance of its new Indonesian owner.
updated 6:41 PM EDT, Mon October 13, 2014
Norwegian 15-year-old Martin Odegaard is the youngest player ever to feature in a European Championships qualifying match.
updated 9:10 AM EDT, Fri October 10, 2014
After revolutionizing cricket with its glitzy Twenty20 league, India has now thrown large sums of money at a new football venture.
updated 10:53 AM EDT, Thu October 2, 2014
Get ruthless. That is Rio Ferdinand's message to soccer's authorities in the fight to tackle the scourge of racism.
updated 9:28 AM EDT, Wed September 10, 2014
A picture taken on May 16, 2014 shows 15-year-old Norwegian footballer Martin Oedegaard of club Stroemsgodset IF cheering during a match in Drammen, Norway. Oedegaard is set to become Norways youngest player ever in the national football team.
He's just 15 and the world is seemingly already at his feet. Norway's Martin Odegaard is being sought by Europe's top clubs.
ADVERTISEMENT