Messi misses Helsinki friendly

The Argentina international has been left behind in Catalunya with the other late returnees from World Cup 2014: Javier Mascherano, Dani Alves and the injured Neymar
Lionel Messi will play no part in Barcelona's pre-season friendly against HJK Helsinki on Saturday.

The Argentina ace has yet to feature since returning from World Cup duty and has been left behind in Catalunya to train alongside international team-mate Javier Mascherano and Brazil full-back Dani Alves.

Neymar did not travel to Finland either, with the Selecao starlet partaking in what Barcelona have termed "recovery work" as he continues his rehabilitation from the fractured vertebra he suffered in his country's quarter-final win over Colombia.

Xavi and new signing Jeremy Mathieu have also remained in Barcelona because of their respective injury problems, though the latter did train normally with his team-mates ahead of their flight to Finland.

In total, 14 first-team players have travelled for the friendly in Helsinki but both Alex Song and Ibrahim Afellay were omitted for "technical reasons", according to Barca's official website.

New coach Luis Enrique has included six Barca B players in his squad, including summer signing Alen Halilovic.

The Blaugrana kick off their Liga campaign with a game against Elche at Camp Nou on August 24.