Monday, February 19
 

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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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La Liga Table
TeamPWDLFAGDPTS
1Barcelona24195062115162
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7EibarEibar2410593236-435
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9Real Betis24103114150-933
10Celta Vigo239594134732
11Getafe237972621530
12Real Sociedad2485114645129
13Leganes2385102025-529
14Athletic Bilbao2461082427-328
15AlavesAlaves2491142233-1128
16Espanyol246992232-1027
17Levante24311102138-1720
18Las PalmasLas Palmas2453161852-3418
19Deportivo La CorunaDeportivo2445152453-2917
20Malaga2434171538-2313
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