23rd January, 2019
Reports emanating from Barcelona’s Camp Nou has it on authority that Lionel Messi’s name is missing from the squad list for their up-coming clash against Sevilla.
This is one of such rare occasions when “Captain Marvelous Messi” will not be playing in a match involving Barcelona when he is fully fit and is not under any form of suspension. More interesting is the fact that Messi is not in a game against a very formidable team like FC Sevilla of all teams.
It is note-worthy to mention the fact that Messi was absent from Barca’s starting XI for the visit of Leganes in LaLiga on Sunday, coming on as a substitute to spare their blushes – playing a role in Luis Suarez’s goal before also scoring himself.
Coach Ernesto Valverde had indicated in the lead up to that game that he was likely to take opportunities to rest Messi in the coming weeks ahead of a busy period, which includes the return of the Champions League.
Sevilla – a team he boasts a fine record against – are the lucky beneficiaries of his time out of the side, as Barca travel to Andalusia for the first leg of their Copa quarter-final.
However. the Barca fans will be happy to know that the club’s new signing Kevin-Prince Boateng is in line to make his first appearance for the club.
The Germany-born former Ghana international joined Barca in a shock loan deal from Sassuolo on Monday, a move which caught many by surprise.
The 31-year-old makes his return to Spanish football having previously featured for Las Palmas.
Young talent Riqui Puig is included in the squad as well, with opponents Sevilla aiming to bring to an end a run of three successive defeats in all competitions.