Messi excluded from Barca UCL squad

UEFA Champions League

FC Barcelona boss Ronald Koeman has excluded Lionel Messi from his squad for the UEFA Champions League clash against Dynamo Kyiv on Tuesday.

Messi and midfielder Frenkie de Jong have both been excluded from Barcelona's matchday squad for their mid-week clash against the Ukrainian giants. 

Speaking at a pre-match press conference, Koeman explained that the decision not to include the duo was a tactical one based on Barcelona's strong performances in the competition, and that both players were merely being rested.

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"We decided not to select Leo and Frenkie because our position in our Champions League group is fairly comfortable, we have nine points, and both of them needed a rest," the Dutchman said, per AS.

Gerard Pique is also set to be absent after suffering a long-term injury during Barca's 1-0 LaLiga defeat to Atletico Madrid over the weekend.

"We're talking about a very experienced central defender, so obviously it's a very big loss for us. It's sad for the player, for the team, the club, for everyone. But we have to accept it and see how we get around it," Koeman added.

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