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Lionel Messi

'We still miss Messi' - Valverde wants Barcelona captain to return quickly despite Clasico win

4:42 AM EDT 10/29/18
LionelMessi - Cropped
The champions impressed against Real Madrid without their club skipper, but the Spanish boss said the superstar was still missed

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde insisted his team were still missing Lionel Messi despite their comprehensive win in El Clasico.

With Messi sidelined due to a broken arm, Luis Suarez took centre stage at Camp Nou on Sunday, scoring a hat-trick in a 5-1 thrashing of Real Madrid.

Philippe Coutinho and Arturo Vidal were also on target for Barca as their huge win piled the pressure on under-fire Madrid coach Julen Lopetegui.

The Catalan giants are now seven points clear of their arch-rivals in La Liga, with an away trip to Rayo Vallecano next up in La Liga on Saturday.

But Valverde, whose team now hold a one-point lead over second placed Deportivo Alaves at the top of the table, said Barca were missing Messi.

"For us, since last week when he got injured, we were probably thinking how we would respond on the pitch," he told a news conference.

"There's only one answer, you have to respond as a team and that's what we've done. The result could've been different but that's the only answer we can give you.

"We're delighted for the team but obviously the sooner he's back the better for us because we miss him. We want him back tomorrow."

Messi is expected to miss another two weeks due to his broken arm, with Barca next in action against Cultural Leonesa in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.