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'It's looking difficult' - Messi set to miss Barcelona's La Liga opener with calf strain

Baku, August 11, AZERTAC

Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde believes it is "difficult" to see Lionel Messi returning from injury for his side's La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao on Friday, according to Goal.

Messi, 32, missed Barcelona's trip to the United States, where they claimed two wins over Napoli, due to a calf strain.

The forward appears set to miss his team's league opener at Bilbao, with Valverde saying it was hard to see the star returning for the clash.

"He's in the recovery process and I don't know if he will be ready for the start of La Liga," he told a news conference after a 4-0 win over Napoli in Michigan on Saturday.

"It's looking difficult."

Should Messi miss the clash against Athletic, he will look towards an August 25 match against Real Betis to potentially make his season debut.

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