Argentina chief: We've spoken to Messi about playing less for Barcelona

Messi has been rested in several Barça games this season

The AFA want him in top shape for this summer's World Cup

Messi y Suárez serán titulares en Mestalla
Messi y Suárez serán titulares en Mestalla | Sport

Argentina Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia has told Lionel Messi to rest more ahead of this summer's World Cup. 

Sam Marsden

@samuelmarsden

Ernesto Valverde has left Messi out of the side several times this season, including for the Champions League game against Juventus, in several Copa del Rey matches and in the recent Catalan derby against Espanyol. 

Messi has said he understands the need to not put too much stress on his body and Tapia has revealed the AFA spoke with him about limiting his efforts when possible.  

“I hope all the [Argentina] players arrive at the level they are playing at right now," Tapia told TyC Sports in reference to the World Cup in Russia. 

"Sergio Aguero is playing outstanding at the moment and Lionel Messi is always at the top of his game. That’s vital for the directors and the coaching staff. 

"With Messi, we have spoken about looking after him and playing less than he has -- if there are games that don't merit his presence, then for him not to play in order to take care of himself a bit more. I think that's good."

Tapia also confirmed Argentina, who will train in Barcelona before the World Cup, could play a friendly game against Catalonia at Camp Nou. 

"[Argentina coach] Jorge Sampaoli told me it would be good for us from a football point of view and it’s important for us from a financial point of view, but we haven’t closed the deal yet,” he explained. 

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