Barcelona haven’t had the best of starts to their league season as they went down 1-0 to Athletic Bilbao in their La Liga opener.
The club’s most important player, Lionel Messi was missing from the game as he is yet to achieve full fitness and the side suffered in his absence. Antoine Griezmann, Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele started as the front three but failed to trouble the Bilbao defence.
Manager Ernesto Valverde, who had clarified that they will not be taking a risk with Messi, now has no option but to hope that the Argentine talisman is fully fit ahead of their second league encounter. Moreover, with Dembele out for four weeks, Barcelona need their talisman now more than ever.
According to reports in Don Balon, Messi, to show that he is the leader at the club, has returned to training earlier than scheduled. The report claims that Griezmann wasn’t sure why the Argentine hasn’t returned to training even though players like Luis Suarez, who played in the Copa America, were already back.
Messi trained alone on Saturday and Sunday to regain full fitness before Barcelona play their first home match of the league season. They will welcome Real Betis on Sunday 25th August.