The FC Barcelona striker will be with the team for the whole preseason, an unusual circumstance since the Argentinian has been in the first team
The summer of 2009, when he decided to cut his holiday short by a week, is the only other time that he’s been with the team from start to finish
Leo Messi is one of the 14 FC Barcelona players that reported back today for the 2012/13 preseason. And this year he’s here to stay, something unusual for him. But it’s excellent news for Barça and Tito Vilanova that the best player on the world will be able to concentrate fully on preparing with his club.
The only other time Messi has taken part in a full preseason schedule was in 2009, when he voluntarily cut his holiday short by one week in order to be there for his team. Every other time he has either come back late or has had to leave at some point. This year, Messi has had 36 days of holiday after playing more games in one season that ever before, a total of 69.
After his first season with the first team, Messi played at the Under 20 World Cup for Argentina. His team won the competition and a week later he reported back for training at Barça.
In the summer, Messi went to the Germany World Cup, and like the other FCB internationals, missed the first fortnight of the preseason.
The squad started training on July 21, but Messi didn’t join them until August 7 for a gentle session at the old Masia. The reason was his presence at the Copa America.
He came back earlier to meet the new coach, Pep Guardiola, and started training. However, a few days later, he had to leave for the Beijing Olympics and therefore missed about a month of the preseason.
The only time Messi has been here from start to finish. Even though the club allowed him an extra week of holiday, he came back on July 20 and flew to England to join the rest of the squad.
Several players came back late due to their presence at the South Africa World Cup. The squad returned on July 19, but Messi wasn’t back until August 1, just in time to join the others on the trip to Asia.
Messi missed three weeks of the preseason after playing for Argentina at the Copa America in July. He had a two-week holiday before retuning along with international team-mate Javier Mascherano.