By 90Min
April 02, 2018

Lionel Messi was specifically told to avoid any long sprints and sudden changes of pace before making his substitute appearance against Sevilla, in order to avoid further aggravating a mild hamstring injury.

The details of the instructions to the five-time Ballon d'Or winner were revealed by AS, who claim it was a 'limited' Messi who took to the field on Saturday night at the Ramon Sanchez Pizjuan.


Messi has been struggling with a strain to his right hamstring for some time, but returned to training ahead of La Blaugrana's trip to Sevilla. 

Messi's introduction on 58 minutes proved crucial for Barça who came back from two goals down to earn a 2-2 draw in Andalusia, with the Argentina front man scoring a late equaliser.

Prior to his introduction, Messi spent 10 minutes warming up his right hamstring and was told to avoid sprints as well as any sudden changes of pace. 

Valverde's risk payed off and Messi was instrumental in clawing back two goals, as Barcelona close in on the league title.

Speaking after the game, the Blaugrana boss hailed the 30-year-old's contribution: "Every time he touches the ball he's decisive. With and without Messi the team is different."

Valverde also insisted that he always planned to introduce Messi at some stage in the game.

"It's true that Messi has an injury niggle, however I had always planned for him to play some part. He has been absent and needed to play," the manager claimed.

 

Messi could be deemed fit enough to start in Barcelona's Champions League quarter-final first leg fixture to Roma on Wednesday. 

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