Argentine striker Lionel Messi will miss Barcelona`s opening match of La Liga against Athletic Bilbao, team coach Ernesto Valverde has confirmed.
The striker is currently recovering from a calf injury which he suffered during training last week.The Barcelona coach said the management does not want to take any risk with the star player.
"We won`t take any risk with any player, much less if he is Messi. We will see how he arrives at the training session but he hasn`t worked or played with the team," Goal.com quoted Valverde as saying.
"Doing an individual recovery is not the same as playing a game, his recovery process is good but we must wait until the training session," he added.
Messi trained separately with the team earlier this week.Barcelona had won La Liga 2018/19 season but the club was knocked out in the Champions League semi-final by Liverpool
"Everybody has this target, we want the best we can. In the big games, you want to raise your level but you`re always thinking about playing better," Valverde said.
"We had some excellent games last season, some not so good, but if I look back over my two years we`ve lost four league games, I think, mostly when we`ve already won the title, so I think we`re doing a lot of things right," he added.
Earlier this month, Messi was handed a three-month ban from international football by CONMEBOL, South America`s football governing body, for his comments made during the Copa America.
Along with the ban, Messi was also fined USD 50,000.As a result, Messi will be missing three friendly matches against Chile (September 5), Mexico (September 10) and Germany