Messi sidelined for Inter clash

Barcelona’s talisman Lionel Messi was ruled out of his side’s Champions League clash with Inter despite training before the game.

Lionel Messi was ruled out of Barcelona’s Champions League clash with Inter at San Siro despite taking part in training in the build-up to the game.

Head coach Ernesto Valverde named the five-time Ballon d’Or winner in his squad for the contest, but an arm fracture sustained just two and a half weeks earlier ruled him out of action.

Messi’s last appearance for the Blaugrana came when he suffered an injury in a 4-2 win over Sevilla on October 20 and his team-mates have won all four of their matches in his absence.

Valverde opted to give Ousmane Dembele his first start in either LaLiga or the Champions League since September, the France international joining Luis Suarez and Philippe Coutinho in Barca’s front three for the Group B clash.

There was no place in the matchday squad for Inaki Pena, Denis Suarez or Munir.

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