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Messi has only been rested for 26 minutes in 2017

ATLÉTICO-BARCELONA

Messi has only been rested for 26 minutes in 2017

Messi has only been rested for 26 minutes in 2017

FERNANDO ZUERAS

DIARIO AS

La Pulga has played 14 games this year, scoring 11 goals and providing three assists, but has only been substituted on one occasion.
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No rest

As Barcelona travel to the Vicente Calderón on Sunday (16:15), Barcelona's Leo Messi dependency has become even more apparent this year given that the Argentinean striker has so far featured in every single Barcelona game in 2017. After Luis Enrique gave his fearsome trident a well-needed break after their game against Espanyol in December, La Pulga has been a busy man, playing 14 games - seven in LaLiga, six in the Copa del Rey and one in the Champions League - with only 26 minutes' rest, against Athletic Club in the league

A goal a game

Messi's numbers in 2017 speak for themselves: in LaLiga he has plundered seven goals in seven games and in the cup four, leading Los Culés to the final after key strikes against Athletic Club and Atlético Madrid. His number of assists is not quite as impressive, with the number 10 setting up goals for his team-mates on three occasions.   

The PSG debacle

The Barça striker also put in one of his worst performances Barcelona's capitulation against PSG in the Champions League, and it was Messi who lost the ball to Rabiot in midfield, a mistake which led to PSG's second goal in the first half. La Pulga was notably affected by the performance and it showed in Barcelona's following game against Leganés as he barely celebrating his winning penalty. With a meagre 26 minutes' rest this calendar year, all eyes will be on Messi on Sunday to see if it finally starts to take its toll. 

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