Soccer

Barcelona’s Spotlight Back on Messi Amid Veteran Exodus, Start of New Season

Barcelona's Spotlight Back on Messi Amid Veteran Exodus, Start of New Season

MADRID (AP) — Lionel Messi will be there when Barcelona starts its season on Sunday, just as he has been for the last two decades.

His every move, however, will be scrutinized like never before.

After all, never before had Messi told the club that he wanted to leave, and never before had Messi been forced to stay.

Will Messi still give his best? Will he still be motivated? Will the transfer saga affect him?

Some of those questions may start being answered on Sunday when Barcelona opens its Spanish league season against Villarreal at the Camp Nou. It will be the club’s league debut after the first two matches were postponed because of its participation in the Champions League late last season.

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