‘We are not going to take risks and less so with Leo’: Barcelona boss Ernesto Valverde insists Lionel Messi will miss La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao
- Barcelona begin their La Liga title defence away at Athletic Bilbao on Friday
- However, they will be without star man Lionel Messi for the season opener
- Ernesto Valverde confirmed the news, saying the club won’t ‘take risks’
The Catalan giants take on Bilbao on Friday night away from home as they look to start off the defence of their league title in style.
But they will be without key man Messi, who was an injury doubt for the La Liga opener anyway with a calf injury.
Lionel Messi will be absent when Barcelona take on Athletic Bilbao in their season opener
The fixture will be the first season opener that the five-time Ballon d’Or winner has missed for 10 years.
‘We are not going to take risks and less so with Leo,’ Valverde said in a press conference reported by Marca.
‘He hasn’t trained yet with the team. We will wait, but he is following a fairly good recovery process.’
Valverde will be desperate to have Messi fully fit when his reigning champions take on Real Betis at the Nou Camp on Sunday, August 25.
The Argentine international netted a remarkable 36 goals in 34 league matches last campaign.
Barcelona manager Ernesto Valverde insists the club are ‘not going to take risks’ with Messi