Suspension benefits Leo – Lucho

Luis Enrique believes Lionel Messi will benefit from his suspension whilst on international duty for Argentina in terms of freshness.

The Blaugrana star was slapped with a four-game international ban for being abusive towards an official during a World Cup qualifier against Chile, missing out on his nation’s recent 2-0 defeat against Bolivia in La Paz.

“The fixture list is overloaded enough as it is and then you have the international games,” Luis Enrique explained ahead of his side hosting Sevilla on Wednesday.

“That’s why I think this mini break is very positive for him – he’s now prepared to compete and to be where we all want to see him – on the pitch.”

The 29-year-old sat out Barca’s recent 4-1 triumph at Granada but will return for the match against fourth-placed Sevilla – the side he has scored more goals against than any other, with his current tally against Los Rojiblancos standing at 27.

Tags Argentina Lionel Messi Luis Enrique