Lionel Messi hasn't started a game on the bench for Barcelona since 10 September 2016, when Barcelona lost against Alavés 1-2 at the Camp Nou.
Messi starts on bench against Juventus
However tonight he was on the bench in Turin for the Champions League match against Juventus, after agreeing with Valverde's plan to drop him from the starting line-up, but with the possibility of coming on in the second half "if required". And in the end, after 55 minutes and with the match still scoreless, Messi came on for Deulofeu.
Tough spell ahead for Barelona
Barcelona have a tough few weeks coming up, leading Valverde to approach Messi and propose the idea of the Argentinian star resting against Juve. Between LaLiga and the Champions League, Messi has played 1,350 minutes, all of those possible, and at Mestalla on Sunday against Valencia Barcelona have what they consider an "absolutely crunch match", for which Valverde is desperate to have Messi in top form. And this time Messi agreed.