This piece of good news for the New Year means that Martino is able to count on his first choice starting XI against Diego Simeone’s Atlético Madrid. The coach could even field his all-star team sooner but he wouldn’t want to tempt fate and rush the situation.
One of the player’s that Martino doesn’t want to take any chances with is none other than Lionel Messi. Leo looks like making his comeback in the Catalan giants’ Copa del Rey game against Getafe as Martino doesn’t want to take any chances, although he could get some minutes on the pitch in this Sunday’s game against Elche. However, Messi won’t be in the starting lineup against Getafe, just to make doubly sure.
Martino’s only other first choice star still sidelined is captain Carles Puyol. He has a minor niggling problem but nothing serious. This means that Martino can now count on all his players and that’s a breath of fresh air for the coach who had to call on his reserve team members in December amidst Barca’s ever growing injury list.
Despite Barca’s injury stricken players and suspensions, the Catalan club still managed to keep two hands firmly on the top spot in this campaign’s race for the League title. At one time, the manager found himself without the likes of Messi, Valdés, Alba, Alves, Puyol, Adriano, Neymar and Alexis.
Now with Barca’s top players back in the fold, the coach can now crack on and push even more in his quest for his first La Liga title since taking over the Blaugrana bench.