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Santiago Solari has paid Lionel Messi the ultimate compliment.
The Real Madrid manager believes Cristiano Ronaldo is the best player in the world but only because Lionel Messi is playing another sport.
"Cristiano is the best player in the world because Messi is playing another sport," he said.
Real Madrid coach Santiago Solari: "Cristiano is the best player in the world because Messi is playing another sport."- Roy Nemer (@RoyNemer) February 5, 2019
This season, there's no stopping Messi's brilliance. He's weighed in with an incredible amount of goals as Barcelona remain in the hunt for an impressive treble.
He's bagged a ridiculous 21 league goals from only 20 games, as well as six goals in the Champions League.
But Barcelona may have to play the Copa del Rey semi-final first-leg without Messi's luxurious services.
He's a doubt with a thigh problem though Solari is hoping he can shrug off his injury, and play in the cup game.
"In football, it is good for the best players to play in all games," Solari said. "That is how it is."
It's the first of three El Clasico meetings on Wednesday. The return leg is secluded in three weeks time, before playing each other in La Liga on March 2nd at the Santiago Bernabeu.
Real Madrid also have the small matter of the Madrid derby not to mention Champions League fixtures against Ajax in a hectic schedule.
"We do not set the calendar, which is for La Liga [authorities] to answer for. We just have to go out there and give our best," Solari said about the list of fixtures.
:white_circle: Real Madrid's significant upcoming fixtures:- ODDSbible (@ODDSbible) February 1, 2019
:calendar_spiral:️ 6th February: Barcelona
:calendar_spiral:️ 9th February: Atletico Madrid
:calendar_spiral:️ 13th February: Ajax
:calendar_spiral:️ 27th February: Barcelona
:calendar_spiral:️ 2nd March: Barcelona
:calendar_spiral:️ 5th March: Ajax
They only face Barcelona the three times in that time... :sweat_smile: pic.twitter.com/dv9GnsVVT4
Get ready for three El Clasicos in the space of 25 days from Wednesday, folks.