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Koeman reveals ‘Messi left out of UCL squad for Dynamo Kyiv trip’

Barcelona is preparing for what should be a dubious excursion to Dynamo Kyiv in the UEFA Champions League. The Blaugrana have been in poor form as of late, having lost 1-0 to Atletico Madrid in their latest fixture, are in desperate need of success however notwithstanding this, Ronald Koeman has chosen to leave Lionel Messi out of the squad.

The 19-man team to head out to Ukraine was declared on Monday and everybody quickly saw the Argentine’s absence. The 33-year-old may not be at his best this season, scoring just a single time from open play so far in 2020/21, however, the six-time Ballon d’Or champ without a doubt remains their best and most skilled player.

Leo has played in four distinct positions as of now for Koeman this season however has still added to 10 goals in 11 appearances, scoring six and assisting four across all competitions. Given that the Catalan giants have won just four of their last nine matches, they could manage without another mistake in Tuesday’s game.

Yet, this makes one wonder: for what reason was Messi avoided with regards to the squad? Many started hypothesizing whether Leo had been dropped because of his lackluster showings. Koeman has appeared before that he can hatchet large names paying little heed to their star power yet when addressing the press, the coach insisted that this was not the case.

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The Dutch strategist uncovered to the press that he simply picked to hand the club captain a rest in a competition where the Blaugrana are doing just fine. Truth be told, Messi was not by any means the only star name to be forgotten about, with Frenkie de Jong likewise being overlooked from the excursion to Kiev.

“We think this is a decent moment to rest them [Messi and De Jong],” were Koeman’s words.

The Spanish giants boast a perfect record in the Champions League, winning their initial three games. They are top on the table, sitting three points in front of nearest equals Juventus and given the current injury emergency; with Pique, Roberto, and Dembele joining Ronald Araujo, Ansu Fati and Sergio Busquets uninvolved; Koeman must give his fit players a breather or danger losing more to knocks.

Notwithstanding, it will be intriguing to perceive how this choice fares. At the point when the different sides met at Camp Nou, it was Dynamo Kyiv the dazzled in spite of losing 2-1. With the Ukrainian giants now boasting the home advantage, will the decision to rest Messi and De Jong backfire? Time will uncover the appropriate response.

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