Messi ruled out of Betis clash after missing final Barcelona training

The Argentine is in line for his first appearance of the 2019-20 campaign after making a full recovery from a calf injury suffered in August

Lionel Messi has been ruled out of Barcelona's match with Real Betis on Sunday after missing their final training session. 

Messi has been working his way back from a calf injury sustained after returning late to the Barca pre-season following his efforts with Argentina in the Copa America.

He was not ready in time for Barca’s opener against Athletic Club, which saw a late goal from Aritz Aduriz deliver a surprise 1-0 defeat to the Liga champions.

With Barca looking to bounce back from that defeat, and with Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele nursing injuries, there was hope Messi would be ready to return to the lineup against Betis.

However, the Barca talisman will be missing again after he did not take part in full training Saturday and was not include in the squad list for the game. 

While he took part in some sessions during the week, Messi was not among the squad on the eve of the clash at Camp Nou. He was also not training with the injured players during the public session available to media.

In his earlier news conference, Barca head coach Ernesto Valverde had reiterated the club’s stance they would not take any risks with their talisman and pointed to training as key to seeing if he would feature against Betis.

"We won't take any risk with Messi,” Valverde said. “We must wait to see him in the training session to check if he is ready."

The star man has not featured in any match since Argentina's third-place contest against Chile in the Copa America, which featured Messi picking up a red card. 

The Argentine's absence leaves a massive gap in their attack, which has also been hampered by other injuries to key players. 

Messi scored 36 Liga goals last season and added 13 assists as he helped guide the club to yet another league title.

They also be without Dembele, who is sidelined five weeks with a hamstring problem, and Suarez, who came off in the first half of the defeat against Athletic with a calf injury.