No point resting Lionel Messi, says Barcelona boss Valverde

Lionel Messi is having yet another season to remember. (AFP)
Updated 02 April 2019
0

No point resting Lionel Messi, says Barcelona boss Valverde

  • Barca face Villarreal on Tuesday and Atletico Madrid on Saturday ahead of Champions League clash against Manchester United.
  • But despite 10-point lead in La Liga Barca boss insists Argentine ace will play both league matches.

BARCELONA: Lionel Messi will probably play against Villarreal in La Liga this week, because “there’s no suitable scenario for resting” the Argentine superstar, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde said on Monday.

Barcelona are 10 points clear at the top of the Spanish League ahead of Tuesday’s away game, followed by a home tie with second-place Atletico Madrid on Saturday and then Manchester United away in a Champions League quarterfinal next Wednesday.

“We attach great importance to this game,” Valverde said of the Villarreal game before acknowledging that “many people have their sights on the Champions League and also the Atletico game.”

“We’ll see tomorrow about Leo,” Valverde said of his 31-year-old forward who has 31 league goals so far this season.

“The three points tomorrow are worth the same as those against Atletico,” Valverde said.

“It is a perfect match to win,” he said, when asked about rotating his squad. “It does not escape me that our rivals are waiting for a slip to feed their hopes of catching us. We don’t want give it any opportunities.”

“There are nine games, if we win six we are champions,” he added. “But having to win six games does not mean we have the league won, we have a lot of work to do.”

Valverde said he did not think renewed rumors that Antoine Griezmann was going to leave Atletico for Barcelona would not destabilize either club.

“It’s the usual stuff, we’re used to it,” said Valverde.


Former UEFA chief Platini arrested in Qatar World Cup probe

Updated 49 min 4 sec ago
0

Former UEFA chief Platini arrested in Qatar World Cup probe

Ex-UEFA chief Michel Platini was arrested Tuesday in connection with a probe into the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to Qatar, a source close to the investigation said.
The French football legend elected to lead European football's governing body in 2007 was taken into custody by French anti-corruption police investigating the awarding of the 2022 World Cup to the gas-rich Gulf state.
Qatar was named ro host the World Cup in a decision that triggered controversy over its suitability amid allegations of corruption.
Platini, 63, led UEFA until 2015 when he was banned from football for four years for ethics violations including receiving a two-million Swiss francs (1.8 million euros, $2 million) payment from the disgraced former head of FIFA Sepp Blatter.