Lionel Messi

Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde, has explained Lionel Messi's omission from the squad, for their Champions League clash at Inter Milan.

Speaking to reporters ahead of the game, Valverde said his decision was influenced by a daunting set of forthcoming fixtures, that includes a potentially crucial El Clasico with Real Madrid.

Messi has been left out of the gameĀ at San Siro, with Barca having already qualified for the last 16 as Group F winners.

Barca visit fourth-placed Real Sociedad in their next La Liga match on Saturday, before welcoming Madrid to the Camp Nou the following Wednesday.

"Messi getting rest. Nothing more," Valverde said.

"We come from important games and we have important games and I have decided that some players do not come.

"Last year we played a great game here. Without Messi, by the way."

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