Barcelona-based newspaper, Diario Sport, report that Lionel Messi, the hero of Argentina's World Cup qualification, touched down on Spanish soil on Wednesday afternoon with Atletico Madrid in his sights. He arrived on a private plane from Quito and was greeted by his wife Antonella and son Thiago.
The Argentine will be available to Ernesto Valverde from Thursday before they take on Atletico Madrid at the Wanda Metropolitano on Saturday at 20:45. It is gameweek 8 of LaLiga with both Atletico and Barca remaining unbeaten through the first seven weeks. Valverde will surely call on Messi but he has played 180 important and exhausting minutes during the international break and travelled over 30,000 kilometres in that time. Barcelona will be hoping his recovery is up to scratch ahead of an important top-of-the-table showdown with Simeone's side.
Messi returns to his club after a memorable night in Ecuador when he bagged a hat-trick and secured Argentina's passage to the World Cup in Russia next summer meaning they won't even need a play-off to make sure of their inclusion at the tournament.