Ter Stegen's message for injured Messi: Relax & let us take care of Real Madrid!

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The Germany international has underlined the importance of the Argentine sensation but says his side can win on Sunday without him

Barcelona goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen admits that the absence of Lionel Messi for Sunday’s Clasico represents a blow to his side, but has told the injured Argentine to relax and let his team-mates take care of Real Madrid.

Messi suffered a fractured arm during the 4-2 victory over Sevilla last weekend , which enhanced Barca’s position at the top of the table but caused them to lose the five-time Ballon d’Or winner for around three weeks.

The Catalans have, however, started promisingly without the 31-year-old, picking up a 2-0 win over Inter on Wednesday in the Champions League, meaning they have a perfect record in the competition and stand well placed to qualify.

And while Ernesto Valverde's side face up to their first Clasico clash without Messi in the team for some 11 years, Ter Stegen says it is vital that the forward gets over his issue as rapidly as possible.

"He is in good hands and the most important thing is that he gets fit again and just relaxes and lets us do it," he told DAZN and Goal  "Of course it's not a nice situation for him. But he is also confident that he will be back on the pitch quickly.

"If you don’t have the best player in the world in the team, it would be strange if you didn’t notice the difference. But we have so much individual quality in our team that we will try to compensate for his absence as well as possible. 

"It's important that we show personality and know that we have great players. I am confident for the Clasico."

Ter Stegen went on to praise Messi's talents and claims that "you cannot understand" just how good he is.

"He has many facets and is a player who demands a lot," he continued. "That is very positive because he pulls the whole team together. 

"He's been the best footballer for many years because he just has a talent that cannot be described. Even if you see him, you cannot understand it. 

"Everyone looks at him from a different angle, but he never tires of doing what he does every time. It is very impressive to see how he has been playing at this level for years."

While Barca are without their superstar, Real Madrid are also missing Cristiano Ronaldo, having sold him to Juventus in the summer, meaning this will be the first Clasico without the great rivals for over a decade.

"Ronaldo has been a very important player for Madrid in the past, scoring many goals. But Real also has so much quality that they will try to compensate for it differently," Ter Stegen said.

"The same is true for us: if the best footballer in the world is missing, we have to compensate for it as much as possible and others have to take on this responsibility."

While Madrid have had a poor start to the season, struggling to score goals and plummeting to seventh in the standings, the Germany international is not about to write them out of the title race.

"I think they will be dangerous until the end," he added. "But we have to look at ourselves and win our games. We have to get a good feeling and I hope we can carry this on for as long as possible. We have a good atmosphere within the team and hopefully we can benefit from that as well."

Victory for Barcelona at Camp Nou on Sunday would see them move seven points clear of their great rivals in La Liga.

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