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The forward has been rested after recent hamstring problems as a precaution ahead of the club's Champions League semi-final later in April along with Andres Iniesta and Jordi Alba

Lionel Messi has been left out Barcelona's squad to face Zaragoza on Sunday evening, as have Andres Iniesta, Sergio Busquets and Jordi Alba.

The Argentine, who has won the Ballon d'Or four times in a row, missed last weekend's 5-0 thrashing of Mallorca due to a hamstring problem picked up in the first leg of the Champions League quarter-final at Paris Saint-Germain  earlier in the week.

Missing that match at Camp Nou ended Messi's record-breaking 19-game scoring streak in La Liga and he will once again be absent against the relegation candidates this weekend.

The Blaugrana star started on the bench in the second leg against PSG but came on to make an important impact at Camp Nou, playing a part in Pedro’s equaliser to see the 2011 European champions through to the last four by the skin of their teeth on away goals.

His absence is likely to ensure that he is fully fit for Tito Vilanova's side's clash with Bayern Munich in the semi-finals of the Champions League, with the first leg kicking off on April 23 at the Allianz Arena.

Iniesta and Alba have also been handed a rest, while fellow regular first-teamer Busquests suffered discomfort and misses out and reserve goalkeeper Jose Pinto has had back problems and does not travel ahead of Sunday's match.

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