Andres Iniesta will be rested by Barcelona for their final league match of the season. Their manager, Ernesto Valverde, will give the Camp Nou legend a rest day, even though it will be his last match for Barcelona. Valverde explained all in a press conference:
“We recently rested Messi against Levante and we still managed to score 4 goals. Most importantly, Lionel was then fully ready for the critical match against Mamelodin Sundowns in South Africa four days later”
Barcelona lost their chance the go through the season undefeated as Levante won 5-4. When asked if the sacrifice was worth it, Valverde didn’t back down:
“Yes it was because we won in South Africa 3-1. Messi even came off the bench and really made a difference to the game. It meant that we won the Mandela Centenary Cup. You don’t get a trophy for going through the season unbeaten”
A deserved rest day
The bemused journalists then asked if he had been under pressure to rest Messi for the Levante game. At that point, the club president intervened to answer;
“I pick the team, sorry, we, no actually, Ernesto picks the team and I fully respect that. We won a big trophy in South Africa that is made of diamonds. Andres Iniesta has given so much to this club. We wanted to give him a day off and make sure he’s not injured for the Word Cup”.
Fans hoping for a proper send off have been advised to visit the Qatar Airlines website soon to organise a trip to Doha to watch Iniesta play for his yet to be announced, new team.
Photo by Daquella manera