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Just in: Messi will not play in league opener

Lionel Messi, Barcelona
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Lionel Messi will not feature in Barcelona’s league opener this weekend.

According to the Mirror, Barcelona boss, Ernesto Valverde does not want to risk the Argentine superstar.

Minutes after being named yet again on the shortlist for UEFA player of the year, it was confirmed that he would sit out the opening game of the season.

The Catalan teams all-time top scorer and captain Messi was reported to have injured his calf in training.

This was announced right before the team was scheduled to take off for the USA. Messi played no part in the mini-tour that the rest of the team went on.

Messi did release a statement to his adoring fans. He apologised for missing the trip and that his focus was on recovery for what would be another assault on every title possible.

There has been recent footage online and through social media channels, showing the Barcelona man going through his paces. In what appeared to be an individual training session.

At his regular press conference, Ernesto Valverde said:

“We never like to risk any players and much less someone like Leo.”

“He still hasn’t returned to training with the team.”

“While we are happy with his progress, individual training is very different to playing a match.”

“We are going to wait and see.”

BARCELONA, SPAIN – DECEMBER 11: Substitute Lionel Messi of Barcelona stands alongside Ernesto Valverde, Manager of Barcelona during the UEFA Champions League Group B match between FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur at Camp Nou on December 11, 2018 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)