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Why isn’t Lionel Messi playing for Barcelona against Dynamo Kiev and when will he return?

BARCELONA visit Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League but they'll be without captain Lionel Messi.

The Argentine has not joined the squad on the flight to Ukraine and will play no part in the match.

Why isn't Lionel Messi playing for Barcelona against Dynamo Kiev?

Lionel Messi has not travelled with Barcelona for the match against Dynamo Kiev.

Interestingly, great rival Cristiano Ronaldo also had to stay at home for Juventus' match away to the same opposition.

Ronaldo tested positive for Coronavirus on Portugal duty and was unable to participate in any matches until he received a negative test result.

However Messi has never had Coronavirus and this omission from the squad is not Covid-related.

The reason Messi has been left out is because Barcelona are top of the group with three wins out of three and almost certain to qualify for the knockout stages.

Boss Ronald Koeman said: "We've got various players out due to injuries and we've decided that we won't be taking Leo or Frankie because the situation in the Champions League is quite comfortable for us with the nine points that we've got.

"And these two players need to rest because they have played a lot of matches. So we think this is a good moment to rest them."

Last week Messi was caught up in a row involving team-mate Antoine Griezmann's uncle, who said: "Besides, with Messi, I know what’s going on inside – it’s not easy.

"Basically, [Messi] doesn’t work hard enough at Barca and the training sessions are structured in order to please certain people, which is fine if you don’t want to work.

"Antoine needs to work, even though others don’t need as much effort to play well.

"He’s the other way around – he needs to put in a lot of effort for himself."

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