Messi needs rest: Barcelona coach

Barcelona, July 20 (IANS) FC Barcelona coach Luis Enrique on Monday said the club’s star footballer Lionel Messi is desperately in need of rest.

Speaking at the start of Barcelona’s summer tour of the United States, Enrique looked back at the last 13 months which have seen Messi play the World Cup, helping Argentina to the final. His domestic season was also longer than almost everyone else as Barcelona played the final of the King’s Cup and the Champions League, following which Messi competed in Copa America where Argentina again reached the final, reports Xinhua.

Barcelona, meanwhile, kick-off their new campaign on August 17 when they face Athletic Club in the Spanish Supercup. Whether or not Messi plays in that is still to be decided, but for the moment Enrique explained the player was having a well-earned rest.

“Messi’s season is almost never ending and he needs to rest. He is not in the US because he needs his holiday and I am not going to deny him those no matter where we go on tour,” he said.

After leading Barcelona to the treble last season, it will not be easy to improve on the 2014-15 campaign but Enrique continued to show his ambition.

“I want to win three more titles than in 2015. I don’t know if it is going to be a calm season or not, but my aim is to do something historic and to be able to do what nobody has done before,” Enrique said.

He also hinted that summer signings Arda Turan and Alex Vidal will not be sent out on loan for the start of the campaign even though that they can’t make their debuts until January because of a FIFA ban.

“It doesn’t help us that they can’t play until January, but I want them with us until then. I’d rather not have them because they bring more problems than benefits,” said the Barcelona coach.

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