Messi makes early Barca return

Lionel Messi will begin his preseason seven days earlier than planned after being included in Barcelona's list for their trip to St. George's Park on Monday.

According to AS, Messi was scheduled to resume Barca training on August 1 along with Javier Mascherano, Claudio Bravo, Thomas Vermaelen, Ivan Rakitic, Gerard Pique, Jordi Alba, Sergio Busquets and Andres Iniesta.

All of whom had featured at international tournaments, yet for the second summer running, Messi has chosen to waive the remainder of his holiday, despite Barca's first official match of 2016-17 not for another three weeks – the Supercopa first leg against Sevilla.

It is said the Argentine made the decision as he felt it was the "best way to get away from the noise" generated by his international retirement and 21-month prison sentence for tax fraud.

Arda Turan has also been summoned to England, where he will join Messi and other first-teamers Jordi Masip, Luis Suarez, Munir El Haddadi, Sergi Roberto, Adriano, Aleix Vidal, Jeremy Mathieu, Denis Suarez and Sergi Samper.

Cristian Tello and Martin Montoya have also travelled but are in the process of resolving their futures, while 11 players from Barca B and one from the Under-19s make up Luis Enrique's 25-man squad.

Tags Lionel Messi