Lionel Messi ignores Enrique's substitution request

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Football News

Lionel Messi has been criticised for holding too much power at Barcelona, and this substitution incident from Barca's game against Eibar has been used as proof against him.

The Argentinian superstar waves off Barca coach Luis Enrique's request to substitute him with 10 minutes remaining against Eibar at the weekend.

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Enrique shouted over to Messi, who gave him the thumbs up and walked away - he wanted to carry on playing.

Enrique had obviously planned to give Messi a rest, with Barca cruising at 3-0 up at the Nou Camp. But he loves to play every minute of every game, so Enrique, rather than substitute him anyway, decided to take off Neymar instead.

The manager didn't look too upset at this very visible show of player power, and after the game Enrique said: "I trust what Messi tells me."

And while Messi has been criticised for disobeying his manager, the four-time Ballon d'Or winner should be applauded for wanting to continue playing.

If this incident and the Raheem Sterling 'tiredness' debate show one thing, it's that you can't win. Players aren't trusted to know their own bodies, rather a judgement must be cast - you may be lazy or you may be obnoxious, but surely you can't be right.

As for the match itself, Barcelona recorded their seventh league win in eight La Liga matches at the weekend, as Xavi, Neymar and Messi found the target in a comfortable win.

And it was another clean sheet for Enrique's side, who have now gone all eight La Liga matches without conceding a goal this season - a remarkable feat for a team that wobbled defensively last term.

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