Real Madrid boss Zinedine Zidane hopes that Saturday's Clasico meeting between his side and Barcelona will not be the last time Lionel Messi plays in the fixture. The Frenchman also declared provided a key update on Eden Hazard's fitness ahead of the crunch game at the weekend. Real Madrid will host Barcelona at the Estadio Alfredo Di Stefano on Saturday, April 10, with the game scheduled to kick off at 8:00 PM local time (Sunday, April 11 at 12:30 AM IST).
While speaking to reporters ahead of Saturday night's El Clasico, Los Blancos head coach Zinedine Zidane admitted that he does not want to see Lionel Messi leave Barcelona at the end of this season. The Argentine's contract with La Blaugrana expires in the summer and he is yet to agree on a new deal, despite making a U-turn on his transfer request last summer. While there is a possibility that the Clasico at the weekend might be Messi's last in a Barcelona shirt, Zidane hopes that is not the case.
Zinédine Zidane (Real Madrid manager): Messi's future? Let him stay, let him stay. He's very well here and it's good for La Liga." pic.twitter.com/PKmiCu0Dq7— barcacentre (@barcacentre) April 9, 2021
The 48-year-old said, "I don't want it to be Messi's last Clasico. Let him stay, let him stay in Barcelona. He's good there. It's good for LaLiga if he stays. We know what a player Messi is. He may not be scoring goals, but we know what a player he is." Quite surprisingly, Messi has not scored in a Clasico since the 2017/18 campaign, when Barcelona drew 2-2 with Real Madrid at the Camp Nou. However, he is still the all-time top scorer in this fixture with 26 goals to his name.
On Friday, Real Madrid released their 19-man squad to face Barcelona but it didn't include Eden Hazard. The Belgian returned to training last week but will play no part in the game against Barcelona. The hosts will also be without captain Sergio Ramos due to injury and Raphael Varane, who tested positive for COVID-19 earlier this week. Right-back Dani Carvajal will also to miss out.
In India, there will be no live broadcast of the LaLiga game. However, fans can watch the Real Madrid vs Barcelona live stream on the official LaLiga page on Facebook. Live scores and updates from the game will be available on the Twitter handles of both teams.