Zubizarreta: Barcelona can cope without Messi

The former goalkeeper is confident that the Blaugrana have enough strength in depth to adapt in the possible absence of their Argentine talisman against Bayern Munich
Andoni Zubizarreta believes Barcelona are more than capable of coping without Lionel Messi if he fails make his return in Tuesday's Champions League semi-final against Bayern Munich.

The Argentine has been missing since suffering a thigh injury in the second-leg of the Blaugrana's quarter-final tie with Paris Saint-Germain, though he has been back in training since last Thursday.

The Liga leaders are already without Javier Mascherano and Carles Puyol and Tuesday night could come too soon for their talisman, but former Barca goalkeeper Zubizarreta is confident they can cope in his absence.

"We have casualties," the 51-year-old told AS. "Messi's injury was short and doctors decided he needed to be rested. Let's see if he is fit for Munich but these players have already shown what they are capable of.

"We will prepare for Munich tomorrow. It's a Champions League semi-final in a great stadium against a great opponent in a wonderful and extraordinary atmosphere."

The four-time European Cup winners can claim the Liga title against Athletic Bilbao next weekend following Saturday's 1-0 win over Levante and Zubizarreta believes winning the trophy this term would surpass the achievement of their last league success.

He added: "In the first half we were better. We had many opportunities, these are difficult games to open up but Cesc's goal brought us closer to our objective.

"We showed the ability to persist and try everything. We got many crosses into the box and goalkeeper Keylor [Navas] was very good. We showed good intensity but maybe lacked a bit of speed with the ball.
We haven't got the title yet.

"Let us enjoy returning to San Mames. To win the league this time will be better than the last."