It’s a race against the clock to get Messi for the opening game of the season, that does not look too favorable right now.
Barca opens the season this Friday, away against Athletic Bilbao.
Messi has already missed the preseason mini-tour of America. This was due to a calf strain. It was hoped the extra rest, and the opportunity to continue rehab in Catalonia would speed up his recovery.
However, team manager Ernesto Valverde is not so optimistic.
“I would love it if Messi was on holiday.”
“but he’s injured.”
“I wish we could have him here and count on him for Friday.”
“But it’s difficult to see.”
Barcelona does have the advantage of a nine-day break between their first game and their second. This will hopefully give the Argentine international enough time to recover and be ready for club duty.
The 32-year-old was late back to Barca, after COPA America duty with the Argentine National team.
He got the injury, literally minutes into the first training session since his return.
He said to the fans through social media:
“I wanted to get started and unfortunately I had a mishap during the first training session which will keep me out of action for a while.”
He has made the headlines of late, after an alleged attack on him and some teammates while holidaying in Ibiza.
In last Sundays home friendly against Arsenal. He appeared to make a statement of intent to the adorning fans.
He explained the devastation of falling short in the Champions League. But was adamant that Barcelona would aim to triumph on all fronts.
There had been speculation that the intent this year was to sacrifice the league and cup for Champions League glory.
This was not on Messi’s agenda. He wants to win everything.
“It’s hard to say something after last season, but I don’t regret anything.”
“But I have no doubt that together we are going to fight again for everything.”
“We won eight League titles in 11 years.”
“We do not give it the value it deserves but over the years we will see how difficult it was.”
“This club fights for everything and this year will be no different.”
“We have renewed dreams.”
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 4, 2019