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Barcelona boss explains pact, which saw Lionel Messi benched for El Clasico

Barcelona star Lionel Messi was on the bench in yesterday’s Copa del Rey El Clasico because it was the best decision for the team and the player, according to Barcelona manager  Ernesto Valverde.

“The decisions you make are based on what you think is better for the team and the player,” the boss said.

“He had discomfort. Today he was better but we thought it was best he enter in the second half.

“He could be decisive because we know the danger he creates every time he gets the ball.”

Valverde introduced Messi for the last half-an-hour, just after Malcom had equalised for the home side. Lucas Vazquez’s sixth-minute opener had given Real Madrid the lead at the Nou Camp.

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