LALIGA

When will Lionel Messi next play for Barcelona?

Following the change of heart from the club captain and striker, many Culés are now wondering when will Messi pull on the famous 'azulgrana' shirt again.

When will Lionel Messi next play for Barcelona?
GERARD JULIEN AFP

New Barcelona coach Ronald Koeman is set to have a new face at the club's Joan Gamper training complex next week with the news that Argentine striker Leo Messi has decided to remain with the Catalan club through to the end of the 2020/21 campaign.

Messi broke the news as part of an interview with Goal España after submitting a burofax to the club on 25 August stating his intention to leave Camp Nou.

The player will now undergo the protocol PCR testing before joining his team-mates.

Sin titulo(FILES) In this file photo taken on October 29, 2019 Barcelona's Argentine forward Lionel Messi celebrates his goal during the Spanish league football match between FC Barcelona and Real Valladolid FC at the Camp Nou stadium in Barcelona. - Messi announced on September 4, 2020 he will stay at Barcelona. (Photo by LLUIS GENE / AFP)

Messi back in action?

With the news being generally well received by the Barça faithful, many fans are now wondering when they will see the Argentine back in action for the club.

At present the club have lined up just one pre-season friendly match when they will face 2B side Nastic at the Johan Cruyff Stadium on 12 September. It's highly unlikely the striker will be match-fit for this clash.

The club are also believed to be trying to organise another pre-season outing against the Gerqrd Pique Andorra FC who also play in 2B.

LaLiga action

Given their progress on in the Champions League, Barcelona have been given dispensation by LaLiga to postpone what would have been their opening two domestic league games (at home to newly promoted Elche and away to Levante) with Koeman's men now set to open their league campaign at Camp Nou against Villarreal in match-day three with the game to be played over the weekend iof 25/27 September. This is probably the moment when Messi dons the famous shirt as part of the 20/21 season.

Messi will also be back in international duty for Argentine with CONMEBOL on Friday confirming the restart of 2022 World Cup qualifying games after the hiatus caused by the pandemic with Argentina scheduled to face Ecuador in Buenos Aires on 8 October.