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PHOTO: Lionel Messi back in training with Barcelona

The Argentine is back following his extended break after reaching the World Cup final.

Lionel Messi has returned to Barcelona to begin training for the new season, following his extended summer break.

Messi reached the World Cup final with Argentina in Brazil this summer, but did not leave a winner after his country were beaten 1-0 by Germany in extra-time.

The 27-year-old looked a broken man after the final defeat, knowing he may have missed his only opportunity to get his hands on the prestigious World Cup trophy. But Messi will now return to his club to help Barcelona banish the memory of a trophyless season last term.

Argentina team-mate Javier Mascherano also returned to training in Switzerland, where the Catalans will take on Napoli, Helsinki and Leon in friendlies over the coming week.

The duo were the last of the World Cup members to return to training, except new signing Luis Suarez.

Suarez will not even be allowed to train with his new team-mates until late October, after his biting antics at this summer’s tournament for Uruguay. The former Liverpool man is set to arrive back on the scene just in time for the first El Clasico match of the season against Real Madrid on October 26.

For Messi, he will play yet another major role in the outcome of any success Barcelona have this season, and fans will be hoping he is even more fired up after missing out on the World Cup.

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