Andres Iniesta has hinted his team-mate Lionel Messi could play a part in Barcelona's FIFA Club World Cup final against River Plate, telling a press conference that his condition is improving after suffering from illness.
The Spanish schemer was joined by coach Luis Enrique in speaking ahead of the finale in Japan, and both seemed positive on the progress of Messi's recovery, after the Argentinian missed Barça's 3-0 semi-final win over Guangzhou Evergrande with renal colic, a type of abdominal pain commonly attributed to kidney stones.
"It seems he is better," Iniesta said of Messi. "Everyone wants him to play."
Iniesta: "River worry us as a block. They are a strong team and they have quality players in midfield and in attack" #FCBlive
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 19, 2015
Coach Luis Enrique added: "Both of them are getting better," referencing Brazilian superstar Neymar, who was also absent from the semi-final due to a groin injury.
The 45-year-old coach, nominated for the FIFA World Coach of the Year for Men's Football award, admitted he was anticipating a suitably mouthwatering final - thanks in part to the large travelling Argentinian contingent.
"I have seen River play in many different ways. It's an attractive final," Enrique added. "There will be many important aspects. We will have to be effective with and without the ball. I know there will be a lot of River fans. The more noise in the stadium the better for everyone."