BARCELONA

Setién: "Messi absolutely needs to rest"

Setién says they have to be winning by two or three goals before he can take Messi off. The Argentine has played every game so far since the return.

Setién: "Messi absolutely needs to rest"
CESAR MANSO AFP

Quique Setién spoke to Movistar and in his press conference after Barcelona beat Real Valladolid on Saturday night in LaLiga to remain within touching distance of Real Madrid.

Lionel Messi has played every single minute since the return of football and Setién says he has to give the Argentine a rest. "Absolutely," he said when asked if Messi needs a break. "I have commented on that but the scoreline was hanging in the balance. If we had scored more goals in the first half, some more players could have been rested."

Luis Suarez didn't start the game but did come on at half-time. "If good to give him a rest," Setién said. "Suarez has played in five games and played nearly all of them so he  had to rest."

Antoine Griezmann was replaced at the break for the Uruguayan and Setién explained that too. "He asked to be changed because he had some discomfort," Setien said.

Griezmann will undergo tests on his thigh to see if he is fit to play in the last two games of the season. He was, until Saturday, the only Barcelona player not to suffer an injury this season. De Jong was the second last player to fall to injury when he hurt himself after the coronavirus lockdown against Mallorca.