Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman has confirmed that Lionel Messi has been rested for the team’s Champions League trip to Dynamo Kiev on Tuesday.
Messi attempted to activate a disputed clause to leave Barcelona for free over the summer, but eventually decided to stay in order to avoid a legal battle with the club.
Last week the Argentine responded to criticism of his level of control at Barcelona from team-mate Antoine Griezmann’s former agent Eric Olhats, by saying that he was “tired of always being the problem for everything at the club”.
However, Koeman, who was appointed Barcelona boss in August, insists Messi’s absence, along with midfielder Frenkie de Jong, is routine, with the club having made a strong start to their Champions League campaign.
“We’ve got various players out due to injuries and we’ve decided that we won’t be taking Leo or Frankie because the situation in the Champions League is quite comfortable for us with the nine points that we’ve got,” Koeman said on Monday.
“And these two players need to rest because they’ve played a lot of matches. So we think this is a good moment to rest them.”