In Barcelona’s 3-1 friendly victory over Girona on Wednesday, Lionel Messi returned to the scoresheet in style with a brace.
After struggling to negotiate a move away from his only senior club, the Blaugrana captain is expected to see out the remaining year of his deal at Camp Nou.
Messi was closely associated with Manchester City, but after declaring his dissatisfaction with the failed talks, he remained at Barca.
The number 10 returned to the fold on Saturday for his side’s first friendly pre-season under Ronald Koeman, playing against Gimnastic in the first half but struggling to find the net.
However, with a brilliant right-footed shot from 20 yards, Messi put it right against Girona.
After the restart, a second followed, his shot deflecting past the wrong-footed goalie and contributing to the opener of Philippe Coutinho.
After 63 minutes, Messi made way for Ousmane Dembele and now has one more friendly remaining-the Joan Gamper Trophy against Elche-before Barca’s LaLiga campaign begins at Villarreal ‘s home on September 26/27 weekend.