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7/19/2016

Lionel Messi to start Barcelona preseason training on Aug. 1

Lionel Messi to start Barcelona preseason training on Aug. 1

Lionel Messi to start Barcelona preseason training on Aug. 1


Lionel Messi is among the Barcelona stars who will return for preseason training on Aug. 1, with Luis Suarez heading the list of senior players already back preparing for the 2016-17 campaign.



Messi, who played for Argentina in their Copa America Centenario final defeat to Chile on June 26, is currently on a post-tournament holiday.

Other international players including Javier Mascherano, Andres Iniesta, Claudio Bravo, Gerard Pique, Sergio Busquets and Ivan Rakitic are also recovering through the remainder of July.

It is unlikely that Neymar or Rafinha will join up with their club before La Liga kicks off on Aug. 20 as they are with Brazil at this summer's Olympic football tournament in Rio de Janeiro, which is being played between Aug. 3 and 20.

It remains to be seen which senior players will be ready to feature in the Spanish Supercopa games against Sevilla on Aug. 14 and 17.
Barca have announced when each squad member returns includes some other notable decisions, with right-back Douglas told not to return until Aug. 8, the same date as those who played in the latter stages of Euro 2016 such as German goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen and new French signings Samuel Umtiti and Lucas Digne.

Winger Cristian Tello, 24, and right-back Martin Montoya, 25 -- on loan last season at Porto and Real Betis respectively -- have also been told to return on Aug. 8.

Alex Song, who has spent the last two years on loan at West Ham United, remains on the books at Barca but no date was offered for his return.

A statement on the club's official website read: "It's back-to-work time for the Barca first team.

"After clinching a famous double by beating Sevilla in the Copa del Rey Final on May 22, the vacations started for some of the players. But for a large number of the squad, there was the not-small matter of the Copa America and Euro 2016 with their national teams. This has conditioned the dates when they are due to report back for club duty, while Neymar Jr and Rafinha still have the Olympic Games in Rio before they are back.

"The players that were not involved in international competitions will be back under the orders of Luis Enrique from Tuesday 19 July. Those ten will start with their routine medical checks before training starts in earnest on Wednesday."

Dates for Barcelona players' returns

July 19: Luis Suarez, Munir El-Haddadi, Sergi Roberto, Adriano, Aleix Vidal, Jeremy Mathieu, Jordi Masip, Denis Suarez, Alen Halilovic and Sergi Samper.

July 25: Arda Turan.

Aug. 1: Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Lionel Messi, Claudio Bravo, Javier Mascherano, Jordi Alba and Thomas Vermaelen.

Aug. 8: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Samuel Umtiti, Lucas Digne, Cristiano Tello, Douglas and Martin Montoya.

Neymar and Rafinha's return dates are to be confirmed after their participation in the Olympic Games has concluded.

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