Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman has left out Captain Lionel Messi and De Jong out of the squad that will be traveling to Keiv for the Tuesday champions league match against Dynamo Kiev, citing that “both players need a break”.
Barca Lionel Messi and midfielder Frenkie De Jong have been left out of the 19- man squad that will be making the trip to Dynamo Kyiv according to coach Ronald Koeman.
Koeman has insisted that both players needed a break as the club is in” a comfortable position ” in the Group G of the champions league, having won three out of three matches in a group that includes Juventus.
The 33-year-old Argentine has endured a tough season scoring only one goal from open play in eight LaLiga outings and uncharacteristically of him no assist yet.
The Dutch tactician has now taken a decision to allow the Superstar a breather as he looks to find his scoring form back.
“Leo is not traveling with us, neither is Frenkie,” Koeman said at Monday’s pre-match news conference. “We felt that both needed a break.
“With nine points so far in the Champions League, we are in a comfortable position and have the chance to give them a rest.”
Messi struggled in Barcelona’s 1-0 loss to Atletico Madrid testing Jan Oblak only once from his three shots and had just two touches of the ball in the opposition box.
The Catalan Coach believes Messi who has been tipped to leave the Nou Camp next summer will rediscover his form.
“He is still a very important player for us and can continue to give a lot,” he said.