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Lionel Messi ruled out of Barcelona’s clash with Real Betis

The GOAT remains on the sidelines

FC Barcelona v Arsenal - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Matthew Ashton - AMA/Getty Images

Barcelona will have to cope without Lionel Messi for Sunday’s La Liga clash against Real Betis at the Camp Nou.

The captain had been expected to return after taking part in full training in midweek, but he did not take part in Saturday’s session and has been left out of the squad.

The news will be a blow given Barcelona struggled without the GOAT against Athletic Bilbao and opened up their title defence with a 1-0 defeat.

They are also without Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele against Real Betis, and there will be pressure on the team to get that first win.

Ernesto Valverde said in his pre-match presser that he would not risk any player who was not 100 per cent and it seems Messi is not quite ready to return.

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