Ronald Koeman, the Barcelona manager, sought a private conversation with Lionel Messi ahead of the Argentine’s first training session at the club since he refused to leave.
Messi told Barcelona last month that he wanted to leave on a clause allowing him to leave for free, although the Catalan club insisted that the condition was over and that if he decided to leave he would have to pay 700 million euros.
The 33-year-old interviewed last week in which he revealed that he would stay at the club for another season because of his unwillingness to sue the club.
On Monday he informed Messi that he will train at the clubhouse for his first session and arrived an hour before the rest of the first team.
According to the Catalan newspaper Mundo Deportivo, the six-time Ballon d’Or winner was keen to set an example and show his teammates that he remains as committed as ever despite his desire to leave the club.
Before the training session, Koeman took Messi aside for a quick conversation, the first since the Argentinian told him he wanted to leave the Camp Nou.
Quoted by the British newspaper «Metro» from «Mundo Deportivo», Koeman has told Messi how happy he is to stay the star Barcelona for another season but confirmed that he only wants the players at the club.
Messi also insisted that he will be committed to the club and promised that he will return to his best, while Koeman said that he will treat him as a “special” player although he will not receive the special treatment he received under the former coaches, with Koeman’s desire to stop the power exercised by some players.
Koeman and Messi spoke only briefly before training, and the striker promised to encourage his manager as he promised to make Barcelona one of the scariest European teams again.
Messi and Philippe Coutinho are also trained alone in Monday’s session to build their fitness but will join the rest of the team in a double session on Tuesday.