Lionel Messi returned to Barcelona training on Monday for the first time since trying to leave the club.
Lionel Messi is back with the club to prepare for the new upcoming La Liga season, but will train individually first for the next few days due to La Liga’s strict coronavirus protocols and thus to take a second coronavirus testing, before joining together with his teammates at a later date.
Barcelona will host Gimnastic in a friendly at the Johan Cruyff Stadium on Saturday, but Lionel Messi is unlikely to be involved. His next potential feature will be up against Girona in another friendly scheduled on Sept. 16 ahead of the season opener against Villarreal at the end of the month.
Messi wanted to leave for free due to a clause in his contract. However, when Barca put up barriers to prevent him from walking away saying the contract clause he invoked had expired, he decided to concede his desire to leave, thus preferred with the wise choice to stay with the Catalan club for at least until the end of his contract in June 2021, rather than going up with a legal battle with his “the club of my life.”
Aligned with Messi’s pursuit to leave, he was absent for the start of preseason under new Barca coach Ronald Koeman last week. His legal team advised him that turning up for training for the new season would nullify the claim he could leave for nothing.
It is the first time he’s been face-to-face with Koeman since the two were in a meeting on Aug. 21. In the meeting, Lionel Messi told the Dutch coach of his desire to leave Camp Nou. See our latest update about Portugal wins 4-1 over Croatia at here!
“Now I don’t know what will happen,” Messi said last week when he announced he was staying.
“There is a new coach and new ideas. That’s good, but then we have to see how the team responds and whether or not it will allow us to compete at the top level. What I can say is that I’m staying and I’m going to give my best for Barcelona.”
Despite committing to the club for the upcoming season, his long-term future is still in question. His contract is up next summer and he’s free to negotiate with other clubs starting January 2021.
Messi’s legal team asserted that the €700 million release clause was no longer active, while La Liga said they had analysed the contract and it was.
It led to an exchange between Messi’s father, Jorge Messi, and Tebas last week in which they both stood their ground.
“It wasn’t a battle with Lionel Messi and his team,” Tebas told Corriere della Sera. “I would have done the same if it had been any other player in the league.
“As a league, we must defend the rules and promote justice: [players] must respect their contracts. Always. Whether you’re called Messi or Pepito Perez.
“I’ve got a special appreciation for Leo and the history he’s created over the last 20 years. How could I be at war with him? I repeat, my intervention was only so that contracts were respected.
“Although his lawyers say the opposite, the contract is clear. I’m happy he will avoid a legal battle and continue playing for the club of his dreams.”