Dani Alves has likened Lionel Messi to a Ferrari going through the workshop after the Barcelona star was sidelined with a thigh problem.
The Argentina star was withdrawn at halftime of the Blaugrana's 1-1 draw with Atletico Madrid on Wednesday night, in the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup. He has since undergone further tests after complaining of discomfort in his leg, with closer examination revealing bruising of his thigh muscle.
And though a definitive period of absence has yet to be announced, Alves is confident his Barcelona teammate will be back sooner rather than later.
"I do not have to worry about Messi. He's now being treated in order to return as soon as possible," Alves said at a pre-match press conference. "Sometimes the Ferraris need to go through the workshop."
Barca's major summer signing, Neymar, was handed an opportunity to shine in the second half of Wednesday's encounter and grasped it with both hands by scoring his first goal for the club. Alves has tipped his compatriot to make inroads into the starting XI sooner rather than later.
"I see him eager to play, happy and well integrated in the group. He can make a big contribution and he's ready to respond. He's ready to be a starter," Alves said.
Barca will face another stern test of its credentials when it travels to La Rosaleda to face Malaga on Sunday in La Liga.
- Sports & Recreation
- Atletico Madrid