Barcelona ban Lionel Messi from training

Barcelona have banned captain, Lionel Messi, from participating in the club’s training.

Lionel Messi will not be training with Barcelona until he signs a new contract at the Spanish club, according to reports. The Argentine has been a free agent since July 1 but is still likely sign a new deal at the Catalan giants.

Despite an announcement that the Barca number 10 would sign a five-year contract, the deal is yet to be signed.

Due to Barcelona’s financial struggles, Messi has been forced to accept a pay cut in order to remain at the club.

The deal will reportedly see Messi take a 50 per cent pay cut.

Messi’s previous contract expired on June 30, meaning that he has been a free agent since July 1 but he is unlikely to agree terms elsewhere.

However, the Barcelona forward will not be training with his club until the new contract is signed, according to Spanish newspaper AS.

Messi captained his national team to the title in South America as they beat hosts Brazil 1-0 in the final.

It was Messi’s first international trophy and Argentina’s first Copa America triumph in 28 years. The victory in Rio ended years of heartbreak for the legendary Barcelona forward.

Messi is 34 now, and while nobody would argue he’s the same player he was during his peak he’s still the best footballer in the world. He clocked four goals and five assists in the Copa America as well as 30 goals and 11 assists for Barcelona in La Liga last season to win the Pichichi.

The 34-year old is currently enjoying an extended holiday after playing in last month Copa America for Argentina.