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article imageBarca to play without Messi in Málaga on Sunday

By Anne Sewell     Aug 25, 2013 in Sports
Barcelona - After being forced off with a hamstring injury during the 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid on Wednesday, Barca player Lionel Messi is going to have to miss the trip to Málaga this Sunday. On the other hand, Real Madrid is hoping to introduce a new player.
Barca's "World Player of the Year" will be absent on Sunday for the Super Cup clash, but Real Madrid is hoping to welcome a new player, Gareth Bale.
On Wednesday, Messi was substituted at half-time in Barca's 1-1 draw with Atlético Madrid due to a thigh injury. Now Barca boss Gerardo Martino has confirmed that 25-year-old Messi will be taking a break for a while.
Martino told a press conference on Sunday:
"We are optimistic, but it's risky to play him again three days later with the league just under way."
"I think Messi is fine and I'm not worried about what has happened or what's being said. He prepared well during the summer holidays. What happened the other day was a coincidence."
Neymar (center) holding the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball
Neymar (center) holding the 2013 FIFA Confederations Cup Golden Ball
Tânia Rêgo/ABr
However, Martino did not mention whether Neymar da Silva Santos Júnior (more commonly known as just Neymar) would be handed his first start for the club after coming off the bench to net his first Barca goal on Wednesday.
Martino said:
"Just because Messi isn't there doesn't mean Neymar has to take the reigns."
"Neymar is improving all the time, but we need to take things bit by bit to ensure everything goes well in the end. My intention is that when he plays he is able to show all that he can do."
Neymar himself told the media after getting his first goal:
"I hope it will be the first goal of many."
"I score very few goals with my head so they are even more valuable. I am happy to have got my first goal. It is a shame that I haven't been able to play with Messi yet, he is the best in the world and everyone wants to play with him."
Gareth Bale - Brighton v Spurs Amex Opening 30/7/11
Gareth Bale - Brighton v Spurs Amex Opening 30/7/11
James Boyes
Real Madrid news:
That other famous team, Real Madrid, won't see any action until Monday night when they travel to face Granada. They were hoping to be including Gareth Bale amongst their ranks. However, it seems there is no confirmation yet of his move from Spurs.
According to the Spanish media, 24-year-old Bale has already arrived in Spain and is currently hanging out in Marbella, waiting for the deal to be completed, before flying to Madrid to be presented to the media and fans in the next few days.
The media is reporting Madrid's offer for Bale at between 90-99 million euros.
However, Barca's Martino commented to the media: "He [Neymar] looks like a good player," adding, "The price is a lack of respect considering how the world is right now."
Barca, on the other hand, paid Santos 57 million euros to acquire the 21-year-old Neymar back in June.
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