Messi in Barcelona squad to face Bayern Munich in preseason game

MUNICH (Sporting Alert) — Lionel Messi and Barcelona arrive to face reigning European champions Bayern Munich in their pre-season opener at Allianz Arena.

The game will also see former Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola going up against his ex-bosses for the first time since leaving that post and the Spanish tactician will be hoping for something special on Wednesday.

Messi, in the meantime, was amongst the 12 first team players that travel for the first pre-season friendly and he will also have the likes of midfielders Javier Mascherano and Alex Song, as well as forward Alexis Sanchez alongside him.

However, new summer signing Neymar, who joined the Spanish champions from Brazil club Santos, is not in the squad, as he has been given extra time to recover from his long season, which had included the 2013 FIFA Confederation Cup.

Midfield generals Xavi and Andrés Iniesta are also missing as they too have been given extended vacation to rest up from the long summer of international football.

Neymar, Iniesta and Xavi will rejoin Barcelona for training next week.

Bayern Munich, which will also feature former Barcelona midfielder Thiago, has been very impressive so far this pre-season and will want to continue that run with a win.

The German side meets Barcelona for the first time since registering a 7-0 aggregate triumph over the Spanish side in the semi-finals of the Champions League last season.

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