Lionel Messi

Messi returns to Barca training for the first time since exit request

The Argentine looked certain to leave the Camp Nou but announced on Friday that he will remain at the club

4:43pm on Monday 7th September 2020
Martin Macdonald

Lionel Messi has returned to Barcelona training for the first time since asking to leave the club two weeks ago.

After the Blaugrana's embarrassing performance in the quarter-final of the Champions League which saw them demolished 8-2 by Bayern, Messi waited until the dust settled before faxing the club requesting the termination of his contract, freeing him to talk to other clubs.

That led to huge speculation about where he could end up, with Manchester City looking the most likely destination due to their financial spending power as well as Messi's relationship with Pep Guardiola.


Haaland compared to Messi and Ronaldo by Norway boss

Fati's self-confidence isn't normal - Luis Enrique

Man City close to signing 'mini Messi' from Estudiantes

Koeman orders Suarez and Vidal to train alone

However, last Friday he performed a u-turn and announced he would stay at the club for at least another year, while at the same time mentioning his dissatisfaction at some aspects of how the club was being run.

On Monday morning, he reported to first-team training for the first time since he requested to leave and then announced he was staying.

When Ronald Koeman took over from Quique Setien as Barcelona head coach, one of the first things he did was inform Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal, two friends of Messi, that they had no future at the club. Veteran midfielder Ivan Rakitic was also recently sold

The Dutchman is aiming to freshen up the Blaugrana squad and add some youthful exuberance to a team that had become to reliant on older players.

For the first few days, Messi will be training alone due to coronavirus measures as last week he did not take part in Koeman's first full week taking charge of season preparations.

Latest news

Premier League

Premier League Table: Man City stay top as Man Utd stumble

Sheffield United's shock win at Old Trafford has changed the picture at the summit, while the top-four race is as tight as ever.

  • 5 hours
Player Ratings

Man Utd 1-2 Sheff Utd Player Ratings: Basham outstanding, Greenwood off it

See how the players rated after the Premier League's bottom club claimed victory over their title-challenging hosts.

  • 5 hours
Premier League

Man Utd 1-2 Sheff Utd: Title-chasing hosts stunned by rock-bottom Blades

Ole Gunnar Solksjaer's side missed the chance to go top as they suffered a shock defeat to the Premier League's basement side.

  • 6 hours
Player Ratings

Chelsea 0-0 Wolves Player Ratings: Kovacic a passmaster, Chilwell struggles

Thomas Tuchel was given plenty to think about in his first match in charge of Chelsea, which ended in a goalless draw.

  • 8 hours
Premier League

Chelsea 0-0 Wolves: Tuchel's first game in charge ends in goalless draw

Chelsea dominated possession on Tuchel's debut as head coach but could not get past an obstinate Wolves backline.

  • 8 hours
Premier League

Tuchel: Havertz, Werner and Kante attracted me to Chelsea

Thomas Tuchel is excited by the opportunity to work with a wealth of young talent and former PSG target N'Golo Kante at Chelsea.

  • 10 hours

Most read