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Messi to remain Barcelona's penalty taker

Barcelona coach Luis Enrique has insisted that Lionel Messi will remain the Catalans' first-choice penalty taker.

The Argentina international has received his fair share of criticism this season following his failure to find the net from 12 yards in the Liga matches against Athletic Bilbao and Levante and some have called for the 28-year-old to be relieved from his duties.

Nevertheless, Luis Enrique continues to back Messi from 12 yards, irrespective of his unconvincing record.

"There is no problem with Messi when it comes to penalties," the Barcelona coach said at a press conference ahead of Wednesday's match versus Celta Vigo.

"He will continue to take spot kicks for us. There is no discussion over it. Messi is the best."

Wednesday's match versus Celta will see Gerard Pique return to the squad after a four-match ban and Luis Enrique is happy to have the Spain international back.

"He has been out due to a mistake that he committed.

"Getting players back after suspension and injury is always good news."