Lionel Messi to sit out Barcelona trip to Ferencvaros

Ronald Koeman says star forward 'won't be rested any more' after Wednesday's Champions League match

Lionel Messi will sit out Barcelona's Champions League trip to Hungarian side Ferencvaros as manager Ronald Koeman looks to keep his star forward fresh for further assignments.

Barca's captain had played in every match of the season plus four World Cup qualifiers for Argentina before being rested for last week's 4-0 win at Dynamo Kiev.

The Catalans have already secured safe passage to the last 16, and Koeman said it was more important that Messi was feeling fresh for Saturday's trip to Cadiz as Barca look to make up ground on La Liga leaders Real Sociedad following a poor start to the domestic season.

"I understand that it's not normal for Messi to rest but in this schedule there were only two moments where Messi could rest, the game in Kiev and tomorrow's game," Koeman told a news conference.

"We have to give opportunities to other players and Saturday's game is very important. We need to win. There were only two opportunities to rest him but after tomorrow he won't rest any more."


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Barca have won all four Champions League games but may need to beat Ferencvaros and avoid defeat in their final game at home to Juventus, who trail them by three points, to clinch top spot in Group G and be seeded for the last-16 draw.

First-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and record signing Philippe Coutinho were also absent from the squad although Frenkie de Jong, who was left at home last week alongside Messi, was included.

French defender Clement Lenglet was named in the squad after limping off in Saturday's 4-0 win over Osasuna, along with 21-year-old Oscar Mingueza who made his league debut in the game.