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Barcelona to rest Messi

By Xinhua

Madrid : Argentine international Leo Messi will be given a rest in Barcelona's King's Cup return match against Getafe, said the Primera Liga club coach Frank Rijkaard.

Rijkaard Wednesday said the 19-year-old, who scored a spectacular goal for Barcelona in the team's 5-2 semi-final victory last month, would be sidelined to avoid possible injury.

Messi beat five players on his way to the Getafe goal, and after the game German coach of Getafe, Bernd Schuster, publicly criticised his players for not tackling the Argentine, known as the Pulga (the flea).

Rijkaard said that Messi would next play Sunday, against Seville team Betis in the 34th round of the domestic tournament.

The team has missed Brazil's Thiago Motta and Frances Lilian Thuram due to injury for Thursday's match, while Spain's Santi Ezquerro, injured Mexican Rafael Marquez and Brazil's Deco will be also absent.

Brazilian Juliano Belletti will return after receiving an all-clear from doctor following a torn muscle in his right leg.