La Liga News: Real Betis hilariously ask Lionel Messi to delay return from injury ahead of their clash against Barcelona
What's the story?
In case you didn't know...
Ernesto Valverde has been without Messi since the end of the previous season due to his Copa America duties and a subsequent calf injury.
The Argentine talisman missed the Blaugrana's pre-season tours and was absent during the club's shock 1-0 loss to Athletic Bilbao on the opening day of the new La Liga campaign.
The 32-year-old played his last competitive game in Argentina's third-place playoff against Chile, during which he was controversially sent off, following an altercation with Gary Medel. The forward further lodged a series of allegations against the South American Football Confederation (CONMEBOL), claiming that the organisation set up the tournament for Brazil to win.
The Barcelona captain returned to the training ground on Wednesday and is expected to be named in the matchday squad against Real Betis, with Ousmane Dembele and Luis Suarez already ruled out.
While Dembele will miss the next five weeks after suffering a hamstring injury, Suarez will be the sidelines for an indefinite period due to a right calf injury.
The heart of the matter
Ahead of their clash at the weekend, Real Betis exchanged some Twitter banter with Barcelona after the Catalan giants posted a picture of a recovered Messi in training.
Los Verdiblancos took time to reply to the post with a hilarious message asking the Argentine ace to slow down and not rush his recovery. The tweet reads, "No tengas prisa, Leo. No hace falta que fuerces " which translates to "Don’t hurry Leo, you don’t have to force".
Barcelona will hope to make up for their torrid La Liga start when they play host to Real Betis on Sunday.