Football

Barcelona to rest Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong against Dynamo Kiev

Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman said yesterday that Lionel Messi and Frenkie de Jong will not feature against Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League tomorrow morning (Singapore time).

Both Messi and de Jong have played every Barca match this season, and have turned out for Argentina (in four games) and Holland (five) respectively.

The Catalan giants travel to Ukraine on top of Group G with maximum points after three games, but they are a lowly 12th in La Liga after losing 1-0 to Atletico Madrid last Saturday.

"We've decided not to take Leo or Frenkie because our situation in the Champions League is quite comfortable. The players need a break and it's time for them to rest," Koeman said.

"Sometimes, you have to protect your players because the calendar is incredible."

Ansu Fati, Sergio Busquets, Gerard Pique and Sergi Roberto will also miss the Kiev clash due to injuries. - AFP

Football