Lionel Messi left out of Barcelona Copa del Rey tie against Ibiza

Lionel Messi left out of Barcelona Copa del Rey tie against Ibiza

Lionel Messi has been left out of Barcelona’s squad for Wednesday’s Copa del Rey round-of-32 game against Ibiza.

Sergio Busquets and Gerard Pique will also be rested for the tie away at the third division club, while Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez are both absent through injury.

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It is just the second time this season that Messi, 32, has been rested. He missed five league games at the start of the season with injury problems but has been involved in every game since, with the exception of December’s Champions League dead rubber against Inter Milan.

The Barca captain has scored 17 goals in his 21 appearances in all competitions, including the winner against Granada on Sunday when new coach Quique Setien took charge of the team for the first time.

However, he won’t get the chance to add to his tally in Ibiza, with Setien opting to rest some of his more senior players ahead of Saturday’s La Liga game away at Valencia.

Barca B players Abel Ruiz and Chumi come into the squad, while Frenkie de Jong returns from suspension and Riqui Puig keeps his place.

The Blaugrana trained on Tuesday in horrific conditions as Storm Gloria sweeps Spain’s east coast, but the club do not anticipate any problems with their flight to Ibiza, which is scheduled to leave on Wednesday morning local time.

This season’s Copa del Rey takes on a new format, with every round until the semifinal now a one-off encounter, as opposed to a two-legged tie, with the team from the lower division handed home advantage.

Barcelona have won the Copa 30 times, more than any other side, and have qualified for the final in each of the last six seasons. Last year’s loss to Valencia ended a run of four consecutive cup wins.

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