Lionel Messi cuts short holiday to join Barcelona preseason training in UK
Lionel Messi has cut his vacation plans to join up with the Barcelona team for their preseason. The Argentine superstar will now meet his teammates earlier than expected. about seven days ahead of schedule and will now join the preseason training in England.
Messi has just had possibly the most turbulent phase of his life, with the verdict of his trial and heartbreak with the Argentina national team. He’s been largely silent on both issues, not making a statement after his declaration to retire from the national team or on the verdict of his trial.
There has been significant clamour in Argentina for Messi to take back his retirement announcement but the 29-year-old has neither confirmed nor denied his intentions for the time being.
Barcelona fans will be happy to see that Messi appears to be focused again now and seems to have reiterated his commitment to his club side by foregoing precious vacation time in order to join his teammates and begin preparations for the 2016-17 season.
The Blaugrana will leave for England tomorrow, plan to train at St. George's Park in Staffordshire and then play a friendly against Celtic in Dublin on the 30th of July. They will also face Premier League champions Leicester City and Jurgen Klopp’s Liverpool, on 3 and 6 August respectively as part of the International Champions Cup.
Barca’s first competitive fixture isn’t too far away either, with the 1st leg of the Supercopa de Espana on 12 August against Sevilla.
Andres Iniesta, Javier Mascherano, Claudio Bravo, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic won’t be available for the match against Celtic though, and are expected to join the squad later. More internationals will be missing as well, so 12 players have been added to Barcelona’s squad from the B team.
Arda Turan, Masip, Luis Suarez, Munir, Sergi Roberto, Adriano, Aleix Vidal, Mathieu, Denis Suárez, Sergi Samper, Montoya and Tello are the senior players called up apart from Messi.
Jose Suarez, Josep Martínez, Marlon, Martínez, Borja López, Carbonell, Gumbau, Alena Nili, Alfaro, Cámara and Mujica are the players called up from the reserves who will be looking to get some game time and impress manager Luis Enrique.
Messi will surely look to put his disappointment with Argentina in the past, take time to think about whether to withdraw his retirement decision or not and focus on winning more trophies with Barcelona for the time being. With his willingness to return to training, his drive certainly seems to be intact.