The voting processes ends on Friday, but claims have been made that Messi believes a final match-winning performance could sway the award in his favour. The 31-year-old was named among the 22 men who travelled to Milan on Monday morning, but whether he will get some minutes is still unclear considering that there's still some time to go until his prescribed date of recovery.
Barcelona are now top of Group B after winning all of their games in the Champions League, while opponents Inter sit in second - their only defeat coming against the Spanish side.
Messi, 31, has not played since breaking a bone in his arm in the win over Sevilla on October 20.
Barcelona have won all of their last four matches without Messi, including a 2-0 win over Inter at the Camp Nou last month.
One is that he plays from the start, another that he comes on. But wins, in any form, can not be overlooked.
More crucially, key players have delivered while others, less prominent, have stepped up.
Suarez, who scored a hat trick in last week's drubbing of Real Madrid, completed the comeback three minutes later by arriving at the far post to steer in a cross from Sergi Roberto, striking a fifth goal in two games and a ninth in total to move top of the league's scoring charts.
Spalletti said it would not make much difference if Lionel Messi was passed fit to play for Barca. More than anything because he is one more [player] and so we have more to choose from. "We need to be better in our reading of the game, but we're going to mark space, not men".
Luis Enrique is yet to pick him for Spain but it would be hard to justify ignoring the full-back again when the next squad is announced later this week. "Under the new coach I'm not being picked but I'm working on it".
Then, Rafinha's Barca future looked bleak but Valverde's preference carries a clear message to the likes of Dembele and Malcom about the value he places on concentration, pressing off the ball and teamwork.
"The team is doing well, and this is truly the chance to see if we can play evenly against anyone".