Why Lionel Messi is not playing for Barcelona against Athletic Bilbao in La Liga opener

LIONEL MESSI will miss the opening match of the Barcelona League against Athletic Bilbao tonight, but why isn’t he playing?

Lionel Messi starred in Barcelona once against last season.

The 32-year-old scored 36 goals and provided 15 assists while the Catalan giants secured the La Liga title.

However, Barça will still feel they have a point to prove this term after their capitulation of the Champions League at the hands of Liverpool and the final defeat of the Copa del Rey against Valencia.

Messi headed to a full Nou Camp before the 2018/19 season saying the club would strive for the glory of the Champions League.

However, the Argentine does not regret making the statement.

Speaking before the new campaign, Messi said: “I don’t regret anything. I can only repeat what I said last season.

“I believe in this team, in these players, in the coaching staff. Together, we will fight for everything. “

Barcelona will travel to San Mamés to face Athletic Bilbao tonight, but the Tali Messi will not be involved.

Why does Lionel Messi not play?

Messi was not included in the team list for the trip to Bilbao.

The five-time winner of the Golden Ball injured a calf in the preseason and subsequently lost the Barça tour of the United States.

He has not played competitively since the Copa América.

“We don’t take risks with any player, so especially with Leo,” Valverde said.

Messi has been doing recovery work in an attempt to be fit for the opening match of the League, but manager Ernesto Valverde was not prepared to take risks.

“He is not yet trained with the team and doing recovery work is not the same as working with the team.”

“Let’s wait a little and see, but it’s recovering well.”

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