Alan Shearer has criticised Manuel Pellegrini’s decision to rest his star players in Manchester City’s 5-1 FA Cup defeat at Chelsea on Sunday.
Pellegrini started with six teenagers at Stamford Bridge, insisting he had “no choice” due to this week’s Champions League trip to Kiev.
But Shearer questioned Pellegrini’s judgement and said it undermined City’s desire to be regarded as one of the biggest clubs in the world.
Shearer told BBC Sport: “I don’t get the talk of resting players. City are and want to be a very big club on the global stage.
“They’ve got more resources than anyone. I never see Luis Suarez, Lionel Messi or Cristiano Ronaldo wanting to be left out.
“Barcelona played on Saturday and they face Arsenal in the Champions League on Tuesday.
“It is the same amount of time as City, but they didn’t rest any players.”
Pellegrini sought to justify his decision by pointing out that City will fly out for their Champions League game on Monday.
And he refuted suggestions that his line-up for the game signalled a disrespect for the competition.
“We have a long flight to Kiev on Monday and we don’t want one more injury,” the Chilean said. “I think we did the correct thing and made the right decision.
“The club tried everything possible to try and play it at a different time. We do not think the Champions League is more important than the FA Cup, but we had no choice.”