clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Valverde explains why he left Lionel Messi out against Juventus

Juventus v FC Barcelona - UEFA Champions League Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images

Ernesto Valverde raised eyebrows on Wednesday night, opting to leave Lionel Messi out of his starting line-up for the clash against Juventus in Turin.

It was a massive call by the Barca coach and it worked out as his side drew 0-0 with Juventus to secure their spot in the knockout stages.

Valverde spoke after the game and explained why he had left the little genius on the bench

“No, Messi wasn’t suffering a knock - we just decided that for once he might rest although the idea was always that we’d keep it tight without him and then let him try and open up the game in the second half.

“Leaving Messi out was difficult but he has played a lot this season and today we saw a long and tough contest so we thought a rest would do him good.”

Messi came on in the 55th minute so will be pretty fresh for Sunday’s crucial clash against Valencia.

It’s been a good week for Barca, beating Leganes at the weekend, getting the result they needed in Turin - now can they make it a great week at Mestalla on Sunday?

Sign up for the newsletter Sign up for the Barca Blaugranes Daily Roundup newsletter!

A daily roundup of Barca news from Barca Blaugranes