Lionel Messi has resumed training with Barcelona after over a week of back and forth with the club. The 33-year-old Argentine star was spotted in his car arriving at Barcelona pre-season training camp on Monday morning.
His Monday’s appearance was the first time he trained under the new football manager of the club, Ronald Koeman who took over from Quique Setien in August after their humiliating 8-2 loss to Bayern Munich in the quarter-final stage of the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League campaign.
Recall that after they were knocked out of the campaign, Lionel Messi tendered his transfer request to Barcelona. He wanted to leave the club for free but the board of the Spanish La Liga club refused to allow him to do so. The club insisted that Messi who has less than a year on his current contract can only leave if his suitor pays his €700 million release clause.
After a series of back and forth between the representatives of Lionel Messi led by his father Jorge Messi, and the representatives of Barcelona led by the club’s president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, the football star came out to announce that he has decided to stay at the club.
During the back and forth between the two parties, the 6 times Ballon d’Or winner refused to show up at training saying that he was no longer part of the club. He didn’t also show up at training a few days after the whole saga was settled.
To confirm that Barcelona’s talisman has finally shown up at training, the club shared a picture on Twitter showing when the 33-year-old forward was training as passionately as he should.
📍 Ciutat Esportiva— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 7, 2020
🐐 Leo #Messi pic.twitter.com/bcC5l2Tl2R
Lionel Messi has resumed training, What next?
The fact that Lionel Messi has resumed training with Barcelona, is proof that the differences between him and the club have been settled, at least for now. However, it is very much possible that the last has not been heard of the entire saga.
Presently, he has just a season left on his contract which means that at the end of the 2020-2021 season, the Argentine icon would have no contract with the club. Hence, he would walk away for free as he has always wanted if he doesn’t extend his contract before then.
Though top members of the club’s board have been stressing that their dream is to see the Argentine football star retire at the club, yet, such a decision will be in Messi’s hands if they are not able to convince him to sign their proposed two years contract.
As it stands, Barcelona’s fans can not wait to see how their new manager Ronald Koeman will utilize Lionel Messi when the club kick off their campaign against Villarreal on September 27.