Lionel Messi missed Barcelona's crushing defeat to Bayern Munich as he was feeling the ill effects of his weekend outing against Athletic Bilbao, rather than carrying an injury, according to the club's manager Tito Vilanova.
Barcelona were hammered for the second week in succession by Bayern, as the Bundesliga champions booked their place in the Champions League final courtesy of an aggregate 7-0 victory over the Catalans.
Messi started the encounter on the bench, and that is where the Argentine remained, as Barcelona were defeated by strikes from Arjen Robben, Thomas Müller and an own goal from centre-back Gerard Pique.
The Barcelona forward has been restricted to a limited role for the club since his hamstring injury sustained the the quarter-final against Paris Saint-Germain, but had been expected to start at the Camp Nou against Bayern.
But, says Vilanova, Messi was not feeling at his best prior to the encounter, and the Barcelona boss took the decision not to risk the 25-year-old when it became apparent the Blaugrana would not progress past their opponents.
"Messi was not injured, but he was not feeling okay, and I thought that in his situation he would not help the team," Vilanova told reporters after the 3-0 loss.
"He played in Bilbao because he was in much better condition, but at the end of the game he contracted some strange sensations.
"We would have taken the risk of playing Leo towards the end of the match if we still had a chance of making the final."