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7 Sep, 2020 17:25

Back in the saddle: Lionel Messi returns to Barcelona training days after bitter dispute with club is resolved

Back in the saddle: Lionel Messi returns to Barcelona training days after bitter dispute with club is resolved

Days after announcing that he had withdrawn his request to leave the club after attempting to force a move away from Catalonia, Lionel Messi has returned to Barcelona's training ground ahead of the start of the new La Liga season.

Messi, 33, was the source of the summer's briefest but most contentious transfer saga when he demanded to leave the club he has represented since he was a boy.

But the Argentinian ace sensationally reversed his decision on Friday after determining it impossible for a team to pay his reported €700 million ($827 million) release clause. 

Also on rt.com Barcelona may have won the contract battle but, make no mistake, Lionel Messi will win the war

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner was understood to have been concerned at the recent underperformance of the La Liga giants, which cost former coach Quique Setien and a host of backroom staff members their jobs.

But with the issue now (temporarily, at least) in the rear-view mirror, Messi has taken part in his first training session with new Barca boss Ronald Koeman ahead of the team's opening game against Villarreal on September 27.

Messi had been absent from training since communicating his desire to leave the club by burofax, and had also failed to report for COVID-19 testing on August 30.

La Liga president Javier Tebas told the media on Monday that he wasn't "worried" that Messi would depart the club this summer and appeared pleased that an accord was reached for one of the world's best players to remain in Spanish football. 

"We want Messi to be with us. He is the best player in the history of football and we want him to end his career in La Liga," Tebas said.

"He has been with us for 20 years and we are so pleased he is staying with us and not going to another league."

Also on rt.com 'He had no choice but to stay': Real Madrid legend Hugo Sanchez blames Lionel Messi's FATHER for Barca transfer U-turn

Additionally, Barcelona posted a photograph of Messi wearing the club's new pink third kit on Monday - a sight which many Barcelona fans had considered impossible due to the player's prior stance. 

Some, though, are questioning whether or not this uneasy truce between Messi and Barcelona can last a full season – and whether or not the Argentine will still attempt to engineer a move away at earliest possible opportunity.