Lionel Messi misses Barcelona training despite decision to stay at the club
While other players including Jordi Alba and Philippe Coutinho arrived for the session, Messi failed to appear at the Joan Gamper training complex for the session
Barcelona: Lionel Messi was a no-show at training with Barcelona on Saturday morning despite his decision to stay at the club under sufferance, AFP reporters at the training ground said.
The Argentine superstar announced on Friday he had been forced to remain at Barcelona, claiming after club president Josep Maria Bartomeu broke his word to let him leave.
It came after 10 days of tension since his bombshell fax telling Barcelona he wanted out.
But while other players including Jordi Alba and Philippe Coutinho arrived for the session, Messi failed to appear at the Joan Gamper training complex for the session which began at 7.30 GMT.
Last Sunday Messi deliberately skipped the mandatory coronavirus test for Barcelona players.
According to local media, Messi must first pass the COVID-19 test with a return to the squad possibly on Monday.
He could then figure in new coach Ronald Koeman's first fixture, a friendly against third division Nastic on 12 September.
"It's not in our hands, but if we don't make any more mistakes we will put pressure on the others," Koeman told a press conference ahead of a game against Levante on Tuesday.
LaLiga: Barcelona, Atletico Madrid play out goalless draw to give Real Madrid shot at moving into lead
Four wins from their last four games will now be enough for Zinedine Zidane's side to retain their La Liga crown, with a crunch game at home to fourth-placed Sevilla up first on Sunday.
Images carried in various media showed players like Sergi Roberto and the teenager Pedri leaving Messi's house. In a video chants of 'champions, champions' could be heard.