Watch Lionel Messi dazzle Barcelona teammates in training

Barcelona star Lionel Messi relaxes at home with his dog as he makes the most of a week off

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.

It remains to be seen if Tapia's request will be considered by Barcelona as the club's new manager Ernesto Valverde had made his intentions clear about Messi's workload when he did not rest his go-to-man after the World Cup qualifying campaign. With the treble still up for grabs, Messi playing less makes no sense for Barcelona. Messi has mostly been kept out of the Copa del Rey clashes. "We have spoken to Messi about taking care of himself and about playing less for FC Barcelona". The last game he did not start in was Barcelona's 1-1 draw against Espanyol in the King's Cup where he had to be recalled after the first half to ensure a draw for his side.

"I hope all the players arrive at the level they are", Tapia told TYC Sports of Argentina, as quoted by Daily Express.

"Sergio Aguero's in rude health and Lionel Messi is always good".

Ousmane Dembele Is Unhappy At The Club
Ousmane Dembele Is Unhappy At The Club

"For Messi, we had a good discussion with the hierarchy at Barcelona and the coaching staff".

Tapia also commented Argentina are planning to play a friendly against Catalonia in June as part of their World Cup preparations.

Messi has been in typically fine form for his side this season, registering 20 La Liga goals and an additional 10 assists for his teammates. He has been the catalyst behind Barcelona's rampant run this season.

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