Valverde defends resting Lionel Messi in Copa del Rey

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Lionel Messi Ernesto Valverde

Ernesto Valverde has defended his decision to rest Lionel Messi in FC Barcelona’s Copa del Rey defeat at Sevilla. The Argentinian club topscorer was left out of the matchday squad as Sevilla claimed a 2-0 victory in the first leg.

After the game Valverde received many criticism over his decision to rest his star player. The Spanish coach has now defended his decision. “These things are at the discretion of the coach, who is the one who knows the players best and knows how they are,” he said.

“I can say little more. The data that I have of the players, nobody [else] has – only those of us inside [the club]. I do what I think is best for us and the group. There is talk of rotations when we lose”, he added. Barcelona play Girona on Sunday and Messi is expected to start the game for the Blaugranas.

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