Barcelona have named their 20-man squad for their Champions League clash with Inter on Tuesday, and there is no Lionel Messi.
With qualification for the knockout stage already secured as well as top spot in Group F, Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has the luxury of being able to rest key players this week.
While he has named a number of stalwarts in the squad still, he has also given a number of youngsters a potential chance to make an impact, as seen in the club’s tweet below.
However, in a major boost for Inter and at the risk of leaving Borussia Dortmund far from impressed as those two sides are still battling for second spot to advance, Messi has been left out with the trip to Real Sociedad on Saturday afternoon in mind.
Further, as confirmed by the club’s site, Nelson Semedo, Arthur, Ousmane Dembele and Jordi Alba all miss out due to injury, while Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto are also given a rest in midweek as Valverde will look to rotate.
Given Messi has rescued the Catalan giants from difficult positions on countless occasions already this season, his presence will no doubt be missed as Barcelona will still want to end the group stage on a positive note.
That said, it’s surely not worth the risk of seeing him pick up an injury in a game that means very little to the reigning La Liga champions in the grand scheme of things as they will not want to lose any integral individuals especially with a showdown with Real Madrid also coming up on December 18.
In turn, it’s sensible management from Valverde, and naturally given the quality that is in the squad still, he’ll be confident that others can step up and produce to ensure that Barcelona are at least competitive, which will give Dortmund hope of being able to go through at Inter’s expense still.
The 2??0?? summoned for the trip to Milan! pic.twitter.com/CD2OmOf8Ij
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) December 9, 2019