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RETURN: Lionel Messi arrives for training

RETURN: Lionel Messi arrives for training

REUTERS

RETURN: Lionel Messi arrives for training

La Liga president Javier Tebas has expressed his relief that Lionel Messi will remain at Barcelona this season after the forward finally returned to training.

Messi told Barcelona that he wanted to leave last month, but has since been reported as saying he will stay because he did not want to face "the club I love" in court over his €700 million release clause.

Barcelona posted a picture of Messi on Twitter yesterday evening, showing the Argentinian back in action at the club's Ciutat Esportiva training ground. He had previously declined to take a coronavirus test as the rest of the squad began their pre-season just over a week ago. "We were worried yes, but not seriously worried," said Tebas, speaking at La Liga's promotional launch for the 2020-21 campaign. "Obviously, we want Messi to be with us.

"I've always said, he's probably the best player in the history of football. He's been in our competition for 20 years.

"As the president of La Liga I would really like him to end his days in our competition.

"For 20 years in the history of La Liga we've had Lionel Messi and obviously we were worried if he was going to leave. But we're so pleased he's going to stay with us and not go to another league."

Barcelona released an image of Messi earlier modelling their new third kit ahead of his return to training for the first time under under new boss Ronald Koeman.

Messi informed Barcelona last month of his intentions to utilise a clause in his contract which his representatives claimed allowed him to leave on a free transfer.

Barca insisted the time had passed for the clause to be activated and that the player would need to pay the release clause in his contract if another club wanted to sign him this summer.

Messi subsequently revealed in an interview last Friday that he had reversed his decision.