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Ernesto Valverde explains Lionel Messi absence

Valverde explains Lionel Messi absence
© Reuters
Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde 'could not risk' selecting Lionel Messi for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Inter Milan.

Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde has said that he simply 'could not risk' selecting Lionel Messi for Tuesday's Champions League clash with Inter Milan at San Siro.

Messi travelled with Barcelona to Italy for the European tie, and it had been thought that the Argentine would be included on the bench having returned to training last week.

The 31-year-old suffered a fractured arm less than three weeks ago, however, and Valverde was not prepared to take the risk, despite the attacker being ahead of schedule in his recovery.

"We couldn't risk Messi. Training isn't the same as playing. We talked about it and he understood," Valverde told reporters.

Malcom's first Barcelona goal saw the Spanish champions take a late lead against Inter, but Mauro Icardi netted late on as the points were shared.

The result, however, was still enough for Barcelona to book their spot in the knockout round of the competition with two matches to spare.


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Barcelona captain Lionel Messi celebrates after scoring against Tottenham Hotspur on October 3, 2018
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Tables
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Liverpool35277179205988
2Manchester CityMan City34282487226586
3Tottenham HotspurSpurs352311165353070
4Chelsea35207859382167
5Arsenal34206868432566
6Manchester UnitedMan Utd34197863481564
7Watford35148135050050
8Everton35147145044649
9Leicester CityLeicester35146154847148
10Wolverhampton WanderersWolves34139124142-148
11West Ham UnitedWest Ham35127164454-1043
12Crystal Palace35126174348-542
13Newcastle UnitedNewcastle35118163544-941
14Bournemouth35125184962-1341
15Burnley35117174462-1840
16Southampton35910164158-1737
17Brighton & Hove AlbionBrighton3597193254-2234
18Cardiff CityCardiff3594223065-3531
RFulham3565243376-4323
RHuddersfield TownHuddersfield3535272069-4914

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