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Valverde explains Messi’s absence

Barcelona v Sevilla - Spanish Copa del Rey Final
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Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has revealed that the reason why he only introduced Lionel Messi as a late substitute in their 3-1 friendly win against Mamelodi Sundowns was because the forward has the flu

The Spaniard explained that there has been a bout of flu going around the Barcelona team right now and so, therefore, he chose to only bring Messi on in the 74th minute of the match at the FNB Stadium.

“We are all a bit [affected] with flu. But that is a very small problem that he [Messi] had,” said Valverde, according to TimesLive.

“That’s why it was important that he participated at the end of the game‚”

“He is a player who has been playing a lot‚ with a lot of minutes during the season.

“And finally we decided to only have him participate a little bit. But it’s nothing serious.”

The La Liga champions will now return to Catalonia to play the final match of their league season against Real Sociedad at the Nou Camp on Sunday.