On Friday night he was rubbing shoulders with Lionel Messi, now Salomon Rondon has been getting acquainted with the bench.

After scoring in Venezuela’s 3-1 victory over Argentina, the Newcastle forward was rested for their next game.

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Venezuela took on Catalonia last night, with a certain Gerard Pique lining up after retiring from playing for Spain.

But Rondon did not get the chance to test himself up against one of the world’s elite centre-backs. He watched on as his side were beaten 2-1 in Girona.

While the 29-year-old probably wishes he had played, his place on the bench is certainly a boost for Newcastle.

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Rondon should be ready for Arsenal

The Magpies return to action next Monday, heading to the Emirates to face Arsenal.

It’ll be an incredibly tough game, and Rafa Benitez will need all of his big guns firing. And the biggest is the number nine.

(Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images)

If there’s one player we can’t afford to be without, it’s Rondon.

The striker is our focal point, central to everything good that we do. He even proved to be a set piece expert against Bournemouth last time out.

We’ve really lucked out with Rondon during this international break. He’s continued his goalscoring form, only played 72 minutes and he only had to go to Spain rather than all the way to South America.

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