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Messi starts Super Cup final for Barca


Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi (R) prepares to shoot during the Spanish Super Cup final football match between FC Barcelona and Athletic Club Bilbao at La Cartuja stadium in Seville on January 17, 2021. (Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER / AFP)

Lionel Messi was passed fit enough to start for Barcelona in the Spanish Super Cup final against Athletic Bilbao on Sunday.

Messi was left out of the semi-final win over Real Sociedad on Wednesday after feeling some discomfort in his thigh.

But the 33-year-old trained on Saturday and again on Sunday morning, with Barca confident enough to give their captain the green light at La Cartuja stadium.

Coach Ronald Koeman had said on Saturday that Messi would have the final decision on his fitness but insisted no risks would be taken.

Messi has scored six goals in his last five games, his form coinciding with an upturn for Barcelona, who head into the final after nine matches unbeaten.

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