Updated: September 8, 2020 2:35:54 pm
Lionel Messi returned to training with Barcelona on Monday for the first time since requesting to leave the club last month.
After reluctantly making a U-turn on his decision, the captain of the esteemed La Liga side was back with the team to prepare for the new season under new manager Ronald Koeman.
Messi practiced separately from the rest of the squad at the Joan Gamper training ground because he still has to undergo a second coronavirus test.
After failing to turn up to the club’s tests for COVID-19 eight days ago, the 33-year-old took a test for the same at his home on Sunday.
The GOAT Lionel Messi’s return! pic.twitter.com/RfGbWvCn0K
— Football Daily (@footballdaily) September 7, 2020
Last Friday, Messi revealed in an interview with Goal that he was staying at Barcelona for the coming season as he did not wish to face a court battle with “the club of his life”.
Initially, the Argentine claimed in an official letter on August 25 that he was free to leave the club unilaterally and without a transfer fee owing to a clause.
But Barcelona and La Liga responded by saying the clause was no longer valid and that the only way to free him from his contract was by paying a release clause of €700 million.
Barcelona, who will be looking to reclaim the La Liga title after surrendering it to Real Madrid last season, are sitting out the first two weeks of the new campaign which begins on Friday due to reaching the UEFA Champions League quarter-finals.
— B/R Football (@brfootball) September 7, 2020
Koeman’s side will instead play pre-season friendlies against Gimnastic de Tarragona on September 12 and Girona on September 16 before their first league game at home to Villarreal on September 27.
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