Lionel Messi has been unavailable for selection for the last three weeks due to a hamstring injury he sustained in Barcelona’s draw against Atletico Madrid in September, after which he was subsequently taken off. He has, however, returned to training this week, and is ready to play against Deportivo this weekend.
His Barcelona colleague Neymar gave fans an update on how his team-mate fared.
Neymar said, "Leo is OK, he's perfect [in terms of fitness]. Whether all three of us play [Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez] against Deportivo depends on the manager.”
"We know we are making history and together we're stronger. The magic of the trident is the friendship. We are friends on and off the pitch. We help each other,” the 24-year-old went on to add.
Neymar understands squad rotation
With a crucial Champions League game against Manchester City coming up, Barcelona coach Luis Enrique might just opt to rest the star trio.
"You have to accept rotations," Neymar said, regarding squad changes. "The manager always speaks with us and we know there are a lot of games until the end of the season and everyone wants to be at their best at the end of the campaign.”
"We're all aware of the matter, it's for our own good, so we have to accept it," the Brazilian added.
Neymar won’t change his game
Neymar, who is now showing stitches over his eye, courtesy an elbow from Yasmani Duk who alleged that Neymar’s style of play was “too cocky”, said that he does not intend to change his game despite criticism from various sections of the football world.
He said, "I am not going to change, of course I won't change."
"People have to know that when I go on the pitch I have my way of playing and my way of playing is this: to dribble, to score goals, to help my teammates and I'm happy playing this way. If people aren't [happy], there's nothing I can do. In football, you can give elbows and kicks, but not everyone can dribble. I won't change my way of playing," said the 24-year-old.
Neymar has already scored 5 goals this season, and he will be looking to continue his fine goal scoring form in the coming games against Deportivo and Manchester City over the next few days.