Ernesto Valverde: It’s never a good time to rest Lionel Messi

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde admits he will leave a decision on selecting Lionel Messi against Villarreal to the last minute.

The Argentine has netted 31 goals in 27 La Liga matches this season but may sit out the clash on Tuesday evening ahead of the weekend clash with second-placed Atletico Madrid.

“There is never a good time to rest a player like Messi,” Valverde told reporters on Monday, as cited by Marca.

“We will take a decision at the last minute because this is a very important match and we have many more key clashes still to come, so these are important moments.

“The points available in this game are the same as that are available against Atletico this weekend, and people are already talking about that.

“The league is not over yet and our rivals want us to drop points, but this is a long season with more twists and turns still to come.

“Villarreal had a difficult result against Celta Vigo and are still battling for survival, but they are an excellent team and are still in European competition.

“This is like a final for us and we know that nothing is won yet and there is everything still to play for.

“Ousmane Dembele? We do not know if he will be back for the Manchester United (first leg) game.”

Tags Lionel Messi