Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has ‘no regrets’ about resting a series of stars during Wednesday’s 2-0 Copa del Rey defeat at Sevilla.
Goals from Pablo Sarabia and Wissam Ben Yedder condemned Barca – who did not start Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez, Jordi Alba or Philippe Coutinho – to the first leg quarter-final loss.
“We are rotating in the Copa this season because last season we paid the price for failing to do so,” Valverde told reporters, as cited by Marca.
“This is the decision that we believe to be best and of course this is a risk, but it is one I have to take as the Coach and it is my choice.
“I have no regrets with the team we fielding this evening, resting Lionel Messi is something I thought I had to do and it was not a bad choice to have Kevin-Prince Boateng started.
“We as a club have a very proud tradition of winning the Copa and sometimes you do not appreciate its significance until you stop winning.
“We analyse every area and we do not believe the tie is over despite this score-line, we have confidence and belief in ourselves to turn it around.
“We had the game under control in the first half but in the second half Sevilla grew into the game and unlike us, could take their chances.”