By 90Min
January 27, 2019

Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde has insisted that he has no regrets over his decision to rest Lionel Messi during his side’s 2-0 defeat to Sevilla in the Copa del Rey on Wednesday.

The Catalan giants fell to a surprise defeat in the first leg of their quarter final tie against La Liga rivals Sevilla in the absence of their talisman, with new signing Kevin-Prince Boateng included in the starting XI.

Barcelona missed Messi’s star quality as they were humbled at the Ramon Sanchez-Pizjuan Stadium but, as quoted by Goal, Valverde insisted: “These things are at the discretion of the coach, who is the one who knows the players best and knows how they are.

“I can say little more. The data that I have of the players, nobody [else] has – only those of us inside [the club].

“I do what I think is best for us and the group. There is talk of rotations when we lose.”

Barcelona face a tough task in overturning the two-goal deficit in the second leg against Sevilla but remain in a strong position at the top of the La Liga table ahead of a testing clash away to Girona on Sunday.

“All matches have a high difficulty level,” Valverde said ahead of the game. “It’s a derby and there’s more energy in those matches. They are played with enthusiasm.

“We know how hard it is to win in Montilivi. It’s going to be difficult and important. We are at a time when points count. It will be difficult.”

Barcelona recently confirmed the signing of Dutch sensation Frenkie de Jong, with the Ajax star set to arrive at the Camp Nou at the end of the season.

Valverde was asked about former Barca coach Pep Guardiola’s talks to sign the player for Manchester City prior to his decision to sign for the La Liga outfit. The 54-year-old replied: “You cannot talk to a player who has a contract. It’s not in my code.

“Everyone has their way of acting. I have nothing more to say.”

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