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Sep 30, 2010

Barca's Messi poised for return against Mallorca

Lionel Messi will return to the starting line-up for Barcelona against Mallorca this weekend after he played a part in the 1-1 Champions League draw with Russian side Rubin Kazan.

Messi was injured by a crunching tackle from Atletico Madrid defender Tomas Ujfalusi at the Vicente Calderon ten days ago but, despite being carried off on a stretcher and in tears, the Argentine has felt no ill-effects from his injured ankle.

"I'm extremely content with my ankle. I am happy with it. It has not bothered me and I have not noticed any pain,'' he said.

Meanwhile, Mallorca defender Kevin Garcia maintained that there would be no special treatment for the Argentine when the sides clash on Sunday.

"If we can give him a kick all the better but at the same time there is no need for aggression," said the 21-year-old, who will likely have the job of marking Messi. ''Football is about contact and you can give someone a kick. We are all footballers, not just Messi and Cristiano [Ronaldo] just because they have a higher media profile.

"He [Messi] is the best player in the world but we have to find a way to stop him. We cannot allow him any space and I'll have to be focused for the whole match and not give him even a metre."

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