- Lionel Messi will likely walk back into the Barcelona squad ahead of their Copa dey Rey rounds of 16 clash against Rayo Vallecano
- The 33-year-old recently finished serving his two-match ban after seeing his first career red card vs Athletic Bilbao
- Former Argentine goalkeeper Hugo Orlando Gatti suggests the Catalans might need to free the forward this summer
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Former Argentina goalkeeper Hugo Orlando Gatti believes Barcelona should let Lionel Messi leave after claiming they win every time the forward does not play.
The six-time Ballon d'Or winner didn't feature in the Catalans' last two games owing to the red card he bagged in their Super Cup final against Athletic Bilbao on January 17.
Ronald Koeman's men went ahead to win the two games by two goals to nothing and also kept clean sheets on both occasions.
The Blaugrana have won 10 of 17 games with Messi in LaLiga this season, and one of two in his absence – drawing the other as reported by bein Sports.
Barca recorded a 66.7 winning percentage with Messi in the league – winning 22 of 33 matches, while the Spanish giants won 60.0 per cent of their fixtures in his absence – three wins from five matchups. Gatti who is not new to hitting out at Messi told El Chiringuito:
"Every time Messi doesn't play, Barcelona win because they can draw on other strengths.
"Football is about winning and if you play well, even better. Every time Messi doesn't play, Barcelona win."
Lionel Messi has scored 11 goals in 17 league appearances for Barca this season, while he has 14 across all competitions.
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And he is expected to run out of contract with the Spanish club with Paris Saint Germain and Manchester City linked with a move for him this summer.
The forward is likely to be back in the Catalans squad for their meeting against Rayo Vallecano in the Copa del Rey round of 16 on Wednesday.
Legit.ng earlier reported that Barcelona and Argentina legend, Lionel Messi has taken to social media to celebrate his mother Celia Maria Cuccittini on her birthday.
The six-time Ballon d' Or winner shared a picture of himself and his old woman with the caption that reads 'Happy Birthday Mummy. I love you'.
Messi and Celia were pictured embracing themselves while they look towards the camera for a portrait in a not-too-well lit room.