Luis Enrique: I considered resting Messi

The former Roma boss has stressed that the attacker can always do something special with the ball, while he has hailed Xavi's continued importance to the first team

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has admitted that he considered resting Lionel Messi during Saturday's 3-0 La Liga win over Eibar, but pointed out that the fans would have missed out on the Argentine attacker's fine goal had he done so.

The prolific forward scored his side's final goal after Xavi and Neymar had previously handed the Catalans a two-goal lead and Luis Enrique has hailed the 27-year-old's contribution after his 250th goal in La Liga, which moved the No.10 to within one of record holder Telmo Zarra.

"I considered resting Messi, but you know there's always the risk that you miss a great goal like the one he scored today," the Barcelona coach said at a press conference.

"Messi doesn't need the prospect of breaking Zarra's record to motivate him. He has been very eager ever since I got here and gives his all every game and on the training pitch, too."

Luis Enrique then went on to discuss the situation of Xavi, who has been struggling to secure regular first-team action this term.

"Xavi playing well and making it hard for me to pick my team is a good thing. It's the kind of problem each coach wants to have," the Blaugrana boss stated.

"Whether he plays or not, Xavi is someone who always helps the team."