La Liga

Busquets: Messi will come back fit

Barcelona trio Sergio Busquets, Alexis Sanchez and Lionel Messi.
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Sergio Busquets has backed Barcelona teammate Lionel Messi to manage his latest injury properly and return "100 per cent" fit.

The Argentinian striker was ruled out of action for up to two months on November 11 after suffering another hamstring problem during the previous day's Primera Division victory over Real Betis.

Messi, 26, confirmed he would not rush back into the Barca first team and that he would only return when he had fully recovered.

And midfielder Busquets believes Messi's patient approach is the right one.

Speaking while on international duty with Spain in South Africa, he told Barca's official website: "Messi is intelligent, he knows what he needs. This is not a short-term injury.

"He's going to recover as well as possible, and he will do so calmly. He knows what he needs better than anyone else, and he knows that rushing things can lead to complications.

"When he comes back he'll be at 100 per cent."

Messi has scored 223 goals for Barca and 14 this season but there are concerns his injury-affected year could count against him in the voting for the Ballon d'Or, with a final five-man shortlist set to be revealed early next month.

Busquets is in no doubt that the diminutive Argentinian remains the world's leading player ahead of the likes of Bayern Munich winger Franck Ribery and Real Madrid's Cristiano Ronaldo.

"For me the number one is Messi," said the Catalan.

"He doesn't need to win the treble or finish the season as the leading goalscorer in La Liga.

"The criteria for awarding the Ballon d'Or are not very clear to me, but it's obvious an attacking player is going to win it. All the nominees are great players."

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