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Messi equals Xavi’s La Liga appearance record for Barcelona

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The captain is in the starting XI at the Camp Nou

Sevilla v FC Barcelona: Copa del Rey Semi Final First Leg Photo by Fran Santiago/Getty Images

Barcelona captain Lionel Messi moved level on La Liga appearances with Xavi on Saturday when he took to the pitch against Alaves at the Camp Nou.

It’s the Argentina international’s 505th appearance in a Barcelona shirt in the league and sees the captain move joint-top of the all-time appearance list.

Messi will be hoping to seal the occasion with a win against a team that managed to hold the Catalan giants to a 1-1 draw earlier in the season at Mendizorrotza.

Ronald Koeman has named a pretty interesting starting XI for the match. Ilaix Moriba gets the nod and makes his La Liga debut for Barcelona.

The teenager made his first-team debut earlier this season in the Copa del Rey but now gets the chance to impress in the Spanish top flight.

Francisco Trincao also gets his first La Liga start of 2020-21, while Riqui Puig is also in the starting XI as Koeman rotates a little ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League clash against PSG.

Jordi Alba gets a rest and is replaced by Junior Firpo, while Ousmane Dembele, Samuel Umtiti and Pedri also drop to the bench for this one.