Messi - El Clasico is crucial

Argentine insists Barca must get a good result at Bernabeu

Lionel Messi: Believes El Clasico clash this weekend is 'vital'

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Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi believes this weekend's El Clasico at Real Madrid could define the European champions' season.

The Catalan giants, bidding to lift the Primera Liga title for a fourth consecutive year, currently trail leaders Real by three points having played a game more.

Argentina ace Messi has stressed the importance of Barca returning from Saturday's trip to the Bernabeu with more points on board.

"It's vital we get a good result," said the forward. "It would set us up for the rest of the season."

Fatigue

Barca will fly to Japan for the Club World Cup after Saturday's clash - a 12,400-mile round trip.

But Messi has brushed off concerns of fatigue derailing their season as they bid to retain the league and UEFA Champions League titles.

"We know what we're capable of and how far we can go," he said.

"We've got a lot of games to get through, that's true, and it's never easy to maintain top form.

"But we really don't care what people are saying. We're staying cool, calm and collected. Nobody knows what this team is capable of better than we do."

Who will win El Clasico?

  • Barcelona
  • Real Madrid
  • Draw