Ernesto Valverde says he left Lionel Messi out of the Barcelona starting line-up against Juventus as he felt he needed a rest.
The Argentina star was surprisingly dropped to the substitutes' bench for the 0-0 Champions League draw in Turin on Tuesday, with Barca director of institutional relations, Guillermo Amor, describing it as "a technical decision" and not one made due to injury.
Valverde has now explained he believed Messi would be more useful as a second-half substitute as he expected Juve to be more open.
However, he would not confirm whether it was something he had agreed with Messi in the build-up to the match, with reports in Spain suggesting it had been decided some days ago.
"He has built up a lot of games and we thought this time he could come on for the second half," said Valverde, as quoted by AS.
"We thought the game was going to be tight at the beginning and then it could be opened up later in the second half. That's what happened."
When asked if he had agreed it with Messi this week, he replied: "These are internal decisions of the coach."
0-0 - Barcelona have recorded goalless draws in back-to-back games in Champions League for the first time ever. Strange. pic.twitter.com/vcQP2cMI33— OptaJose (@OptaJose) November 22, 2017
Barca, who secured a place in the last 16 and top spot in Group D with the draw, controlled much of the match without creating too many opportunities against a reasonably defensive Juve side.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen was forced to make a fine save from Paulo Dybala in second-half injury time, though, and Valverde was pleased to see his goalkeeper stay alert for 90 otherwise quiet minutes.
"We came with the intention of winning and we played with personality," he said. "They're a team who press a lot. We dominated for long spells, except in the final few minutes, in which they had the play and had the chance with Dybala.
"Our intention is for Ter Stegen not to have much work and he hasn't, because we've dominated a lot of games, but they had that chance, which was at the end of the game."
Barca now switch their focus to a top-of-the-table clash with Valencia in LaLiga on Sunday.
|Neymar labels Real Madrid links ´nonsense´|
|Koepka ready to turn seconds into wins|
|Rose ´really proud´ of Fort Worth Invitational win|
|Paul a ´game-time decision´ for series decider, says Rockets coach D´Antoni|
|Egypt president wishes Salah speedy recovery|
|Bonucci: Balotelli has matured|
|Ranieri backs Sarri to succeed at Chelsea|
|Konta admits to doubts after another early Roland Garros exit|
|Warriors´ Iguodala, Looney listed as questionable for game seven|
|Zverev batters Berankis, Goffin back from the brink in Paris|
|Rose cruises to victory at Colonial|
|Neymar: I´m not at 100 per cent yet|
|Toulouse confirm Ligue 1 survival with win over Ajaccio|
|I know what I´ve achieved - Bale not worried about plaudits as he looks to the future|
|Ostapenko ´angry´ after Roland Garros exit, Venus Williams falls at first hurdle|
|Barcelona B relegated to Spain´s third tier|
|Rayo Vallecano win promotion to LaLiga|
|Tarkowski leaves England camp for hernia surgery|
|Ramos ´quite clever´ but Salah injury not to blame for final defeat, insists Robertson|
|WATCH: Ricciardo takes wide receiver role on yacht for Tom Brady pass|
|Until next year – Ronaldo drops new future hint as Real Madrid celebrate with fans|
|Froome stunned by Giro triumph|
|The Triple Crown: Froome´s Grand Tour glory in numbers|
|Hannover sign Wimmer on season-long loan|
|Inter powerless to stop Icardi exit, admits Spalletti|
|Ashton makes England statement with Barbarians hat-trick|
|Watson masterclass seals third IPL title for Super Kings|
|Kozlova ends Ostapenko´s Roland Garros reign on day one|
|Imperious Zverev breezes into second round|
|Froome wins Giro d´Italia to complete Triple Crown|
|Stricken Salah confident over World Cup hopes|
|Verstappen highlights change in approach amid Rosberg criticism|
|Strinic claims three-year deal at Milan|
|Napoli captain Hamsik considering China offer|
|Chinese outsider Wang shocks Venus Williams in Paris|
|Redemption two years in the making - Ricciardo revels in Monaco glory|
|Flawless Molinari holds off McIlroy at Wentworth|
|Karius ´infinitely sorry´ but thanks Liverpool fans for support|
|Root and Bayliss dismiss ´outrageous´ fixing allegations|
|Giggs: Bale the best Welsh player I´ve seen|
|Ricciardo ends Monaco hoodoo despite mechanical issue|
|Lyon star Fekir denies being close to Liverpool switch|
|Pogba: I learned a lot from Abou Diaby|
|Where next for Real Madrid stars Ronaldo and Bale?|
|Shingler and Hewitt out of Wales tour|
|Kyrgios pulls out of French Open|
|Khan wants to bow out by winning blockbuster Brook fight|
|Is winter coming? Game of Thrones stars descend on Monaco|
|Root urges England´s batsmen to ´find a way´|
|Lovren, Van Dijk absolve Karius of blame|
|We all know where our nipples are - Hansen welcomes tackle trial|
|Rooney would thrive in MLS, says DC United boss|
|Pakistan complete demolition of sorry England|
|Curry, Durant reveal the secret to Thompson´s success|
|Salah will miss World Cup, claims Saudi sports administrator|
|Deschamps marvels at Zidane´s incredible Champions League success|
|FIA satisfied Ferrari ´inside the rules´|
|NSW Origin hopeful Moylan pulls the strings for rampant Sharks|
|Champions League blunders will stay with Karius - Clemence|
|Warriors assuming Iguodala won´t play game seven, Kerr says|
|Lampard confirms Derby talks over vacant managerial position|
|French Open 2018: The science behind Nadal´s clay-court dominance explained|
|Walsh to continue as Bangladesh head coach|
|Bale makes emphatic point after Champions League omission|
|Casemiro: I bet Ronaldo stays at Madrid|
|Brewers pull away for blowout win over Mets|
|Warriors´ outburst sinks Rockets, forces game seven|
|MLS Review: Timbers win sixth straight, Techera scores hat-trick|
|It was like wrestling – Klopp unhappy with Ramos challenge on Salah|
|McKinnon says 49ers aiming to win Super Bowl this season|