Messi rested again for Barca game at Ferencvaros

VIDEO SHOWS: FC BARCELONA SQUAD HOLDING TRAINING SESSION AHEAD OF CHAMPIONS LEAGUE MATCH AGAINST FERENCVAROS, FC BARCELONA MANAGER RONALD KOEMAN AND FORWARD FRANCISCO TRINCAO SPEAKING AT NEWS CONFERENCE

SENDING WITH STORY. COMPLETE SCRIPT TO FOLLOW

SHOWS: BARCELONA, SPAIN (DECEMBER 1, 2020) (BARÇA TV – MUST NOT OBSCURE LOGO)

1. DEFENDER SERGINO DEST AND FORWARD ANSU FATI WALKING ONTO PITCH FOLLOWED BY GOALKEEPER INAKI PENA AND CENTRAL DEFENDER OSCAR MINGUEZA WALKING ONTO PITCH

2. COACH RONALD KOEMAN WALKING ONTO PITCH

3. PLAYERS ON PITCH

4. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA COACH RONALD KOEMAN, SAYING:

«First, I understand that it’s not normal for Messi to rest but in this schedule there were only two moments where Leo could rest, the game in Kyiv and tomorrow’s game, because we have also qualified so that influenced this decision. We have to give opportunities to other players and Saturday’s game is very important. We need to win. There were only two opportunities to rest him but after tomorrow he won’t rest any more.»

5. VARIOUS OF PLAYERS ON PITCH

6. CENTRAL DEFENDER OSCAR MINGUEZA TRAINING

7. KOEMAN LOOKING ON AND KICKING BALLS ONTO PITCH AS PLAYERS TRAIN IN FOREGROUND

8. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA COACH RONALD KOEMAN, SAYING:

«The most important thing was to qualify and we’ve done that already in Kyiv but when you’re at Barca you need to win every game.»

9. DEST TRAINING AND PASSING BALL TO FORWARD FRANCISCO TRINCAO, TRINCAO DRIBBLING AND PASSING BALL TO MIDFIELDER RIQUI PUIG, PUIG DRIBBLING AND PASSING TO MIDFIELDER SERGIO BUSQUETS, BUSQUETS RUNNING

10. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA COACH RONALD KOEMAN, SAYING:

«Well, we all know there are rules in terms of removing shirts, it’s a yellow card. I think everyone knows why (Messi) did it and it was a tribute to Diego Maradona and it must be understood, but the decision is not mine. If it were, I would remove the yellow card.»

11. MIDFIELDER MIRALEM PJANIC PASSING BALL, DEFENDER SAMUEL UMTITI PASSING BALL TO PJANIC, FORWARD PEDRI PASSING BALL TO UMTITI, UMTITI KICKING BALL AND RUNNING

12. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA COACH RONALD KOEMAN, SAYING:

«Umtiti will play a game tomorrow with Barça B. He is close to returning. He partly trained today with the group but we don’t want to take risks because we want him to feel 100% so that he can play. He needs a little more time and may be back for the next game against Juventus and, if not Juventus, the worst case will be the game after that against Levante. We want our people to be fit in order to include them on the list.»

13.PLAYERS TRAINING

14. DEFENDER JORDI ALBA RUNNING

15. FORWARD OUSMANE DEMBELE TRAINING WITH KONRAD DE LA FUENTE, DEMBELE TRAINING

16. PLAYERS TRAINING

17. DEFENDER RONALD ARAUJO TRAINING

18. PLAYERS TRAINING

19. TRINCAO TRAINING

20. (SOUNDBITE) (Spanish) BARCELONA FORWARD FRANCISCO TRINCAO, SAYING (ABOUT NOT SCORING GOALS):

«Well it’s a challenge I want to achieve and I try to do my job every day by helping the team assisting or scoring and in time everything will work out and I think I will score a lot.»

21. MIDFIELDER CARLES ALENA TRAINING, PASSING TO ALBA, ARAUJO PASSING TO ALENA, ALENA KICKING BALL, RUNNING AND PASSING TO ALBA

22. MIDFIELDER MATHEUS FERNANDES TRAINING

23. PLAYERS TRAINING

24. GOALKEEPER NETO TRAINING

25. NETO AND PENA SWAPPING PLACES, PENA TRAINING

26. PENA TRAINING

27. PLAYERS TRAINING

STORY: Lionel Messi will be rested for the second Champions League game in a row, missing Barcelona’s trip to Hungarian side Ferencvaros, but will not sit out any more games after that, coach Ronald Koeman said on Tuesday (December 1).

Barca’s captain had played in every match of the season plus four World Cup qualifiers with Argentina before being rested for last week’s 4-0 win in Dynamo Kyiv and has also been left out of the squad for Wednesday’s game.

With the Catalans already qualified for the knockout stage, Koeman said it was more important that Messi was feeling fresh for Saturday’s trip to Cadiz as Barca hope to rise up the La Liga standings following a poor start.

«I understand that it’s not normal for Messi to rest but in this schedule there were only two moments where Messi could rest, the game in Kyiv and tomorrow’s game,» Koeman told a news conference.

«We have to give opportunities to other players and Saturday’s game is very important. We need to win. There were only two opportunities to rest him but after tomorrow he won’t rest any more.»

First-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and record signing Philippe Coutinho were also absent from the squad although Frenkie de Jong, who was left at home last week alongside Messi, was included.

Barca have won all four Champions League games but may need to beat Ferencvaros and avoid defeat in their final game at home to Juventus, who trail them by three points, to clinch top spot in Group G and be seeded for the last-16 draw.

«The most important thing was to qualify and we’ve done that already but when you’re at Barca you need to win every game and play well too,» he added.

French defender Clement Lenglet was named in the squad after limping off in Saturday’s 4-0 win over Osasuna, along with 21-year-old Oscar Mingueza who made his league debut in the game.

Koeman said it was too early to risk Ronald Araujo and Samuel Umtiti but said the two centre backs were not far from returning.

(Production: Catherine Macdonald)