Lionel Messi: Barcelona star returns to training ahead of Champions League clash with Dortmund

Barcelona have been handed a huge boost ahead of their Champions League opener against Borussia Dortmund, with Lionel Messi being named in their 22-man squad that will travel to Germany. 

The Argentine suffered a calf injury and was initially expected to return after a few weeks, but the knock has been tougher to recover from than initially expected. Messi has subsequently missed all four of Barcelona’s league games this season.

Barcelona confirmed on Sunday that Messi had returned to first team training, alongside Ousmane Dembele – although the Frenchman did not participate in the whole session and will not travel with the squad. 

Messi’s return comes at a good time for the Catalonians, who have started the season rather indifferently. An opening day defeat to Athletic Bilbao and a draw with newly-promoted Osasuna have highlighted deficiencies in the squad, despite 5-2 wins against Valencia and Real Betis.

Admittedly, they have been unlucky with injuries, especially in attacking areas, with Luis Suarez also suffering an injury in the defeat to Bilbao.

Suarez returned from injury in the win over Valencia this weekend, but it was the performance of 16-year-old Ansu Fati that caught the headlines. The youngster scored and assisted inside seven minutes, before being replaced after an hour by Suarez to a standing ovation. 

It remains to be seen whether Ernesto Valverde will start Suarez, Messi and Antoine Griezmann together for the first time, or if he will ease 32-year-old Messi back into action and start the likes of Fati or Carles Perez instead.  


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