Barca Boss Slammed For Resting Messi
FC Barcelona Boss Slammed For Resting Lionel Messi
FC Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde rested superstar Lionel Messi on the weekend, ahead of their clash against Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday, a decision that did not go down well with many.
The manager left the Argentine out of his squad for the Blaugrana's league fixture against Levante on Sunday night, in which they suffered a shocking 5-4 defeat, which ruined their chances of going the whole campaign unbeaten in LaLiga.
Spanish top flight expert Terry Gibson has since slammed the manager's decision to go easy on Levante, insisting he should never have let the chance to go all season unbeaten in the league slip.
"If you're going to go to week 37 with that record in mind, and then play that team, with two games to go and leave out Messi, who's not even on the bench and didn't travel, I don't understand," Gibson told LaLiga Weekly.
"You've got Sergi Roberto injured, Samuel Umtiti injured, do you then need to make further changes in the back four? It was a mystery why Valverde made so many changes.
"I can't see them getting any closer (to going a season unbeaten). It wasn't like they had to play Real Madrid or any of the other big teams in their final two games.
"They had Levante away, Real Sociedad at home. They'd gone 36 unbeaten, and it was there to be done.
"It was a unique chance to do something historic, and their team selection, attitude, and the performance of Levante were the reasons it came to an end."
Barca will take on PSL champions Sundowns in the Nelson Mandela Centenary Cup on Wednesday evening, and will play Real Sociedad in their final league game of the season this coming weekend.
Do you think Valverde is to blame for Barca's defeat on Sunday? Let us know in the comments section below.