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Messi's absence gives Pedro a chance to shine >> Read My Mind

Pedro: 'The truth is that we are 10 points behind. We have to try and not lose anymore and wait for Madrid to drop points to cut into their lead'

Pedro: 'If their lead increases, the league will be very complicated. We won’t give up on this title and we’ll fight until the end. We’re doing particularly well at the moment'

Pedro: 'It’s true that I’ve had a couple of injuries, but I’m well now, with more confidence and rhythm. I hope to play more minutes and be able to help the team, it depends on the manager though, he has the last word'

- After many months of asking Guardiola to rest Messi, La Pulga will actually miss a whole match this weekend: The little guy is banned due to 5 yellow cards. I guess this is the only way our coach would agree to field a team without his tiny star...

While this is obviously beyond Pep's control, I applaud his decision of giving the Argentinian Genius a whole bunch of days off as a result - Our number 10 has been excused from training until Monday. A good opportunity to rest his legs but, perhaps more importantly, take his mind off the pressure of being the best player on Earth for a while.

After his remarkable hat-trick with his National Team against 88xXxxxX in mid-week, these are happy times for Messi both at the Camp Nou and Argentina - where he has struggled to convince his doubters at times. For me, criticism should all come down to how hard you try - And nobody is more committed to selfimprovement than Leo Messi.

I couldn't be happier to see La Pulga back on track, scoring decisive goals, unselfishly assisting his teammates and, luckily for him, given a well-deserved rest.

Let's hope The Pep Team can beat Sporting convincingly while Leo recharges his mini-batteries. Messi has scored 70% of FC Barcelona's goals at home this season (28 out of 43 at the Camp Nou) so other need to step up and take control.

As I explained in this previous article, it's time for players like Alexis, Pedro or Cesc to prove they can push the team forward without the Little Genius.

LEO MESSI: ENJOY YOUR BREAK, COME BACK STRONGER!!!!!

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