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Messi declared fit for Barcelona Champions League opener at Dortmund

Messi declared fit for Barcelona Champions League opener at Dortmund
Lionel Messi has been declared fit for Barcelona’s opening UEFA Champions League game at Borussia Dortmund on Tuesday, the Catalan club have announced.

Messi has been nursing a calf injury he picked up after the Copa America this summer and has not featured for Barca in any of their four league games so far this season.

Messi returned to full training on Monday and has now been included in the squad to make the trip to Germany for the game at Westfalenstadion.

The news is a boost for Barca boss Ernesto Valverde’s as his team opens their bid for Champions League glory with a tricky visit to a team currently standing second in the Bundesliga.

Messi, 32, was on the sidelines again as Barcelona beat Valencia 5-2 at the Nou Camp on Saturday, with the goals coming from 16-year-old sensation Ansu Fati as well as Frenkie de Jong, Gerard Pique and the returning Luis Suarez.

Despite the green light over Messi’s fitness, Valverde may opt to call on his star man from the bench in Germany, rather than risk him from the outset.

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Messi last played for the Catalan club in their Copa Del Rey loss to Valencia on May 25. He went on to suffer disappointment in the Copa America with Argentina, finishing third and getting sent off for just the second time in his career in the playoff against Chile.  

Barcelona are in Champions League Group F alongside Dortmund, Inter Milan and Slavia Prague.