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Take a break!

By Josey Samuel
Lionel Messi

Camp Nou, November 7: Despite a tottering pre-season campaign and a summer of turbulence in Catalonia, Barcelona have enjoyed a fine season so far, winning 10 of their first 11 games in La Liga.

Though they lost Neymar to Ligue 1 giants Paris Saint-Germain, Barca have rallied with Messi doing a stupendous job.

Despite being not on the scoring sheet during his landmark 600th game against Sevilla last week which Barcelona won 2-1, the 30-year-old has still so far scored 12 goals this season to top the La Liga scoring chart.

But according Spanish website Diario Gol, Messi could now be set for a rest in the coming weeks, with the 2018 World Cup in the back of Argentinian's minds.

Messi has supposedly though asked Argentina manager Jorge Sampaoli to play him against Russia in the freindly to be played at the Luzhniki Stadium on Saturday (November 11).

Messi is keen to keep himself in peak fitness, before next year's World Cup which could be his final shot at the trophy.

As a result, Valverde might now be forced to grant him rest in La Liga and in the Champions League.

Valencia are thriving at present, having won eight of their first 11 games.

They sit five points behind Barcelona but victory over their rivals later in the month (November 26) would see them close that gap.

Messi is, meanwhile, expected to feature in the first El Clasico of the season on December 23.

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    Story first published: Wednesday, November 8, 2017, 14:05 [IST]
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