Inter Milan boss heaps praise on Lionel Messi

Inter Milan manager Luciano Spalletti has heaped praise on the qualities of Lionel Messi ahead of the club’s Champions League encounter against Barcelona in midweek. The Argentina international has been absent for the past three matches with an arm injury but he is expected to make a comeback during the upcoming European meeting at San Siro.

Speaking in a news conference, Spalletti hailed Messi as the world’s best and praised the player’s quick transition of play when in possession of the ball, he said: “Messi’s shirt is the one wanted by every child who dreams of becoming a footballer. He plays that game at another speed. He is the best.”

Meanwhile, Spalletti suggested that Radja Nainggolan could feature in a holding midfield role to curb the threat from the Blaugrana, provided he has no concerns after the recent injury comeback, he added: “He knows how to play as a defensive midfielder, that’s where he started. Strength and enthusiasm are his best qualities.”

Inter are currently on six points after the first three Champions League group stage games and this sees them three points behind leaders Barcelona. Nonetheless, they are having a four-point advantage over both Tottenham Hotspur and PSV Eindhoven for the second position and hopefully they can get something from the Blaugrana game to pile on the pressure.

Elsewhere, Barcelona are pretty much assured of reaching the knockouts after the perfect record from three matches and a victory versus the Nerazzurri would ensure them of the top spot alongside progress into the round of 16. Meanwhile, Messi has decided to travel with the Catalan giants for the away Champions League trip after recovering from an arm injury.

Ernesto Valverde has confirmed that the Argentine would make the matchday squad but it remains to be seen whether the club-captain could feature from the off against Inter. In Messi’s absence, Suarez has come to the party with five goals from the previous three matches.