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Messi steps up recovery ahead Barca’s opening game


Lionel Messi has stepped up his recovery from injury as he faces a race against time to be fit for Barcelona’s La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao on Friday.



The Argentina superstar was practising his shooting off cones in the sand in Spain.



Messi was also hitting volleys and running through posts in the tricky terrain.



The Barcelona forward has not played a minute of pre-season football due to a calf strain.



The 32-year-old finished third at the Copa America with his country last month in which he played in every match.



Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde recently revealed that Messi could miss his side’s opening La Liga game.



After the Catalan Giants’ 4-0 friendly victory over Napoli, Valverde said, “I would love it if Messi was on holiday, but he’s injured.



“I wish we could have him here and count on him for Friday (against Athletic Bilbao) but it’s difficult to see.”



The absence of Messi will come as a big blow for the Catalan giants as they go in search of their third consecutive La Liga title.
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