UCL: Koeman Rests Messi, De Jong For Dynamo Kiev Clash

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has left Lionel Messi and Frenkie De Jong out of the travelling party for the Uefa Champions League clash against Dynamo Kiev.

Lionel Messi has struggled for this season and the former Everton coach has decided to rest him in other to keep him fresh for the other tasks ahead.

Barcelona lost their third league match of the season against Atletico Madrid on Saturday and they will be hoping to bounce back with a victory against the Ukrainians on Tuesday.

“We’ve decided not to take Leo or Frenkie because our situation in the Champions League is quite comfortable,” Koeman told reporters ahead of Tuesday’s game.

“The players need a break and we think it’s time for them to rest … Both have played almost every minute and come from playing with their national teams,” Koeman added.

“Sometimes, you have to protect your players because the calendar is incredible.”

Messi has appeared in all Barcelona’s matches this season and he has also completed 90 minutes for Argentina four times between October and November.

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Taiwo Ibrahim

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