Luis Enrique has decided to give midfielder Andres Iniesta some much-needed rest. Hence, the midfielder will not be part of the Champions League group match against Bayer Leverkusen.
This match holds little significance for the Catalan club, who have already qualified for the last 16 stage as the winner of the group. They are likely to experiment with a number of new players against the German outfit since there is no pressure to win the game. After a few years of being overshadowed by Lionel Messi, Iniesta has been getting back into the headlines once again with some sparkling displays.
The latest came in the El Clasico victory over Real Madrid. Even though the midfielder will want to play every game in the season, he is in the twilight of his career and needs to be managed well in order to get the best out of him for a long time. Barcelona were able to see the best out of Xavi Hernandez until the player was in his late 30s largely because he was managed well. Iniesta is once again at the same stage after turning 31 recently. The midfielder has already featured in close to 1000 minutes in club and international matches. Hence, a week’s rest will be a welcome aspect from all perspectives.
"FC Barcelona face their final game of the group stage of this season's Champions League on Wednesday away from home against Bayer Leverkusen. Gerard Pique and Andres Iniesta are rested and stay behind in Barcelona, Dani Alves misses out due to suspension and Mathieu, Sergi Roberto, Douglas and Rafinha are all out due to injury. Luis Enrique's team have already claimed first place in Group E and after training on Monday, the coach named a squad of 19 players to travel to Germany on Tuesday,” said a statement from the club.