Valverde confirms Messi to miss La Liga opener
Valverde confirms Messi to miss La Liga opener
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Valverde confirms Messi to miss La Liga opener

Barcelona ace Lionel Messi will miss the opening match of the new La Liga season after he failed to recover in good time for Friday's opener. 

The Argentine suffered a calf injury in training last week and missed the club's recent preseason tour of the US, where the club played two friendly matches against Napoli.

Coach Ernesto Valverde has confirmed that the superstar will not be risked in the opening match of the campaign, when the La Liga champions take on Athletic Bilbao on Friday. 

Messi trained alone on Wednesday, and continues to step up his recovery, and might be ready to start next week. 

"We won't take any risk with any player, much less if he is Messi,” said Barca head coach. “We will see how he arrives to the training session but he hasn't worked or played with the team," 

“Doing an individual recovery is not the same as playing a game, his recovery process is good but we must wait until the training session."

Valverde will be hoping to defend the La Liga crown for the third time in a row, even though he knows the Champions League ranks highest in his list of yet-to-be accomplished missions. 

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