Lionel Messi returns to Barcelona squad for game against Real Betis

LIONEL Messi is back in the Barcelona squad for the Spanish La Liga game against Real Betis.

But there is no Ousmane Dembele after reports of disciplinary trouble involving the Frenchman.

Messi has missed almost three weeks of action after he suffered a borken arm but was back in training this week and was named in Ernesto Valverde’s 19-man squad for Sunday’s home match.

Barcelona's Argentinian forward Lionel Messi had missed 3 weeks with a broken arm
Barcelona’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi had missed 3 weeks with a broken armSource: AFP

Dembele was notable by his absence after reports he failed to show for training on Thursday, having not notified the club he was suffering with gastroenteritis. “It is not a punishment,” Valverde said of the 21-year-old’s absence. “Everyone can interpret it as they wish.” Dembele’s latest indiscretion has led to further speculation over the long-term future of the 105 million euro ($A165 million) signing from Borussia Dortmund but Valverde said he remained keen to help him realise his potential. “The talent that Dembele has is difficult to find and we have to help him take advantage of it,” he said.