FC Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has explained his decision to rest star man Lionel Messi for a second consecutive UEFA Champions League match.
Messi was rested for Barcelona's matchday squad to face Dynamo Kyiv last week and, after scoring in the club's 4-0 LaLiga win over Osasuna at the weekend, has once again been excluded ahead of Wednesday's UCL clash with Ferencvaros.
Koeman has since explained that Barca's early qualification for the next round of the competition has afforded him the luxury of being able to rest Messi, whom he otherwise would not have been able to have given a breather.
"It is not usual for him to rest, I know, but in this calendar of this season there were two moments that could give him rest: in Kiev and tomorrow," the Dutch coach explained, per Marca.
"We have already qualified and also this way I give opportunities to others. The LaLiga match [against Cadiz] on Saturday, we have to win it. It is time for him to rest.
"From tomorrow there will be no possibility of doing it. We would like to have him always, but I have spoken with him and asked him, and the final decision is up to the coach. There are only two moments to give him rest, which are these, and he will not be able to rest anymore."
Barca have won all four of their Champions League Group G encounters and currently hold a three-point lead over Serie A giants Juventus at the top of the standings.
Scroll through the gallery below to see where Messi ranks among the Champions League's all-time record goalscorers