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Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano Cut Holiday Short, Back to Barcelona Training

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJuly 30, 2015

Argentina's Lionel Messi, left, and Javier Mascherano walk during a training session in Vespesiano, near Belo Horizonte, Brazil, Thursday, July 10, 2014. On Sunday, Argentina faces Germany for the World Cup final soccer match in Rio de Janeiro. (AP Photo/Victor R. Caivano)
Victor R. Caivano/Associated Press

Lionel Messi and Javier Mascherano both cut their holidays short and returned to Barcelona training on Thursday as the Catalans prepare for the new season.

The Argentina internationals missed Barca's pre-season tour of the United States to take some time off following their travails with the national team earlier in the summer, which saw them lose to Chile in the Copa America final.

Neither Messi nor Mascherano was expected to rejoin the team until August, but both men have shown their commitment by returning ahead of schedule, per Sport:

SPORT English @Sport_EN

And today Messi's back in training, with Javier Mascherano. Cutting their holidays short 4 days early. https://t.co/HskuBDLflv

Along with Neymar, Dani Alves and Marc-Andre ter Stegen, the pair will undergo medical tests on Thursday ahead of full training sessions with the rest of the squad on Friday and Saturday.

Luis Enrique's men then face Fiorentina in their final International Champions Cup match on Sunday.

Thus far in the pre-season tournament, they have drawn with Chelsea, lost to Manchester United and beaten Los Angeles Galaxy.

Messi clearly has not been idle on his break, as he was recorded by his girlfriend, Antonella Roccuzzo, partaking in his own training session with son Thiago:

The competitive action begins for Barcelona when they face Sevilla in the UEFA Super Cup on August 11 ahead of two legs of Spanish Super Cup action against Athletic Bilbao.

Then comes La Liga action. Barcelona will be favourites to claim the title, but a tough opening to the season means good preparation will be vital.

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