Barca Boss: Why Messi Played Just 20 Minutes Against Downs

FC Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi came on against Mamelodi Sundowns on Wednesday evening with just 20 minutes to go, and the Catalan club's manager has now explained why the Argentine made such a short cameo in the match.

Click through the mini-gallery above to see Messi in action against Downs!

The Spanish giants beat the Brazilians 3-1 at FNB Stadium on Wednesday, thanks to goals from Ousmane Dembele, Luis Suarez and Andre Gomes.

Messi, who did not warm up with Barca before the game, was introduced with just 20 minutes to go, a substitution that had the Mzansi crowd cheering at the top of their lungs.

Manager Ernesto Valverde has since suggested that the Argentine, like a few others in the team, had been struggling with flu ahead of the clash, which is why he was brought on so late.

"We've all had a bit of a flu, it's a very small problem, but we thought that it was important for him to participate at the end of the game," he said at a press conference after the clash.

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Gallery: Messi, Iniesta & Dembele Light Up FNB Stadium

Messi entertained the crowd with a few fantastic touches after his introduction, and was even reportedly mobbed by a pitch invader after the final whistle.

What was your favourite moment of the game? Let us know in the comments section below.