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Messi to sit out Barcelona's first Korean match

4 August 2010 08:02

(AFP) - Argentinian superstar Lionel Messi will not play in Barcelona's first match in South Korea on Wednesday against an all-star team, Barca coach Pep Guardiola said on Tuesday.

Guardiola said that Messi - whose World Cup ended in disappointment as the Argentinians were humbled 4-0 by Germany in the quarter-finals - had only just returned from holiday and was not match fit.

"He (Messi) will not play," said Guardiola, who has guided Barca to two successive league titles as well as the 2009 Champions League and the 2009 Spanish Cup.

"He has trained just once, and is not yet ready to play. To play him would be risky. He would have played if he had been in shape."

Guardiola, whose side will play in green their first new away strip since the 1996-97 season, said if Barcelona failed in their bid to sign Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas he was confident the players already in the squad could reap more success next season.

"The transfer window closes at the end of the month. We have not excluded the possibility that he will come, nor that he will not come," said Guardiola.

"If we can do something then we will do it, but if we have to do without him we will make do with the players who have come through the youth system, because they have given us enough assurance already."

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