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Messi and Co train ahead of Barcelona’s clash against Real Sociedad

  /  autty

Lionel Messi was in fine spirits during Barcelona training on Friday as he joined his team-mates in preparation for Saturday's game against Real Sociedad.

The star forward, who did not feature for Argentina during the international break, was part of an extended group of players honing their plans for the return of La Liga this weekend.

He could be seen sharing a joke with fellow Barcelona captain Gerard Pique and also  Luis Suarez during the session, which was led by manager Ernesto Valverde.

Valverde, a title winner in his first season at the Nou Camp, predominantly watched from the sidelines but was also pictured deep in conversation with Sergio Busquets ahead of the match in San Sebastian.

The La Liga champions were  able to call upon the likes of Ivan Rakitic and Ousmane Dembele after the pair's international exploits with Croatia and France respectively.

New signings Arthur and Clement Lenglet also featured in the session at the club's training base.

First-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen, meanwhile, saved shots as part of a separate drill for the club's stoppers.

Barcelona face a gruelling schedule of five games in 15 days, starting with a trip to bogey ground Anoeta on Saturday.

Victory at the ground last season ended 10-year wait for a win in San Sebastian, and they will hope to replicate the feat this weekend.

Valverde's men then begin their Champions League campaign with a home match against PSV Eindhoven before facing Girona in a Catalan derby five days later.

Related: BarcelonaL. Messi