Football: Lionel Messi anonymous as Barcelona players gather for pre-season tests

A young fan wearing the jersey of Barcelona's Lionel Messi sitting outside the Ciutat Esportiva, where players were gathering to take a Covid-19 test, on Aug 30, 2020.
A young fan wearing the jersey of Barcelona's Lionel Messi sitting outside the Ciutat Esportiva, where players were gathering to take a Covid-19 test, on Aug 30, 2020.PHOTO: AFP

BARCELONA (AFP) - Lionel Messi was not seen attending Barcelona's training ground for coronavirus tests on Sunday (Aug 30) morning, raising the possibility he will boycott pre-season to force his way out of the club.

Barca's new coach Ronald Koeman and first-team players entered through the front entrance to the Ciutat Esportiva but Messi was not among them, according to AFP journalists at Sant Joan Despi.

Messi was due for testing at 10.15am, claimed reports in the Spanish press, but had already instructed the club through his lawyers that he would not be taking part.

Without passing a coronavirus test, Messi will be unable to attend Koeman's first pre-season training session on Monday, with the start of the new La Liga season less than two weeks away.