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AFA president hopes Lionel Messi plays fewer games for Barcelona

AFA president hopes Lionel Messi plays fewer games for Barcelona
From ESPN - February 13, 2018

Argentina Football Association (AFA) president Claudio Tapia has said he would be pleased if Lionel Messi played less for Barcelona in the remainder of the season so he arrives at the World Cup in top condition.

Messi has featured in all 23 of Barca's La Liga games this campaign, 22 of them starts, also starting five Copa del Rey games and playing in all six of their Champions League matches.

Tapia told TyC Sports: "We hope all the players arrive at the level they are at, which is very high.

"[Sergio] Aguero's [level] is terrific and Messi is always there, high up. This is important for us, the executives, and the coaching staff to see the level that he [Messi] is at.

"With Messi, we spoke about looking after him, playing less than he has, and if there are games that do not merit Messi to be present, then for him not to play in order to take care of himself a bit more I think that's good."

Argentina captain Messi, the leading scorer in La Liga with 20 goals, scored a hat trick in the 3-1 win over Ecuador that sealed his country's World Cup place.

And after three straight final defeats for Argentina-- two in the Copa America and the other at the 2014 World Cup -- Tapia said he was hoping for better luck.

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