Messi hopes boosted after beach workout

ABU DHABI - Lionel Messi's chances of lining up for Barcelona against Atlante in their Club World Cup semi-final on Wednesday have increased, according to coach Pep Guardiola, after the player trained on a private beach.

"He's better, much, much better," Guardiola told a news conference on Tuesday. "His ankle is looking good and he's showing good spirits. He worked well (in training) and tomorrow we will decide."

Argentina international Messi, who twisted his right ankle in Barca's match away to Dynamo Kiev last week, trained for an hour on the beach, part of the hotel complex where the team are staying, and had a dip in the sea to cool down.

"The plan is that he will be back on the pitch this afternoon and a part of the session will be with the rest of the group," the club said on their website.

Estudiantes of Argentina meet Pohang Steelers of South Korea in the first semi-final on Tuesday.