The call has come from the Argentina Football Association who want their star man fresh and ready to complete at the World Cup in the summer.

Spanish clubs only came back from a winter break seven weeks ago but with Barcelona seven points clear at the top of the table, and 17 points above Real Madrid, president Claudio Tapia has asked that Messi is rested towards the latter part of the season.

Argentina hope that the Catalan club wrap up the title with a couple of games to spare so their captain will have a short break before heading to Russia.

The South American country also hope that Manchester City striker Sergio Aguero will get similar treatment from his club.

“I hope all the players arrive in the level they are at the moment,” Tapia told Argentine network TYC Sports. 

“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.”

However, the one competition Messi will not want to miss is the Champions League.

Barcelona face Chelsea in the last-16 stage next week as the playmaker targets his fifth European honour.


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