Messi rested by Barcelcona against Inter in Champions League

AP , Monday 9 Dec 2019

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde has decided to rest Messi as the team secured their group top spot.

Barcelona's Argentine forward Lionel Messi (AFP)

Lionel Messi will not play in Barcelona's match against Inter Milan in the Champions League on Tuesday.

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde is resting Messi for the team's final Group F game in Italy.

The Catalan club has already secured a spot in the knockout stage as the group leader. It has four more points than Inter Milan and Borussia Dortmund, which hosts already eliminated Slavia Prague.

Only the top two in each group advance to the round of 16.

Valverde is also resting defender Gerard Pique and midfielder Sergi Roberto. Out injured are Ousmane Dembele, Arthur, Jordi Alba, and Nelson Semedo.

Among those who made the trip to Italy are Luis Suarez, Antoine Griezmann, and teenager Ansu Fati.

Messi scored a hat trick on Saturday in Barcelona's 5-2 win over Mallorca in the Spanish league.

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