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AFA president Claudio Tapia calls for Lionel Messi to play less for Barcelona

Argentina's national football association president Claudio Tapia calls for Lionel Messi to spend less time on the pitch for Barcelona ahead of the World Cup.

Argentina's national football association president Claudio Tapia has revealed that he has requested that Lionel Messi to play fewer games for Barcelona.

Messi is currently trying to help Barca achieve the treble in Ernesto Valverde's first season in charge at Camp Nou, and the forward has made 29 starts and three substitute appearances in all competitions during the current campaign.

However, Tapia has admitted that he wants to see the 30-year-old protected in the build-up to the World Cup, with the South American nation looking to win the tournament for the first time since 1986.

Tapia told TYC Sports: "I hope all the players arrive in the level they are at the moment. Sergio Aguero is playing outstanding right now and Lionel Messi is always at the top of his game.

"That's vital for the directors and the coaching staff. We have spoken to Messi about taking care of himself and about playing less for Barcelona."

Messi has netted 61 times in 123 matches for Argentina since making his debut in 2005.

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