Lionel Messi returned to the scoresheet in style with a brace in Barcelona's 3-1 friendly win over Girona on Wednesday.

The Blaugrana captain is set to see out the remaining year of his contract at Camp Nou after failing to secure a move away from his only senior club.

Messi was heavily linked with Manchester City but stayed at Barca despite announcing his frustration with the failed negotiations.

The number 10 returned to the fold for his side's first pre-season friendly under Ronald Koeman on Saturday, playing the first half against Gimnastic but failing to find the net.

Messi put that right against Girona, however, with a stunning right-footed strike from 20 yards crashing against the post and in on the stroke of half-time, although it prompted only an understated celebration.

A second followed after the restart, his shot deflecting beyond the wrong-footed goalkeeper and adding to Philippe Coutinho's opener.

Messi made way for Ousmane Dembele after 63 minutes and now has one more friendly remaining - the Joan Gamper Trophy against Elche - before Barca's LaLiga campaign begins at home to Villarreal on the weekend of September 26/27.

Ronald Koeman explained why Barcelona need to change from their traditional 4-3-3 formation after enjoying a winning start as head coach.

The Blaugrana beat Gimnastic 3-1 in a friendly match at Estadi Johan Cruyff on Saturday, their first outing since Koeman took over from Quique Setien.

With Lionel Messi captaining the team for the first time since announcing he will stay at the club, Barca scored through Ousmane Dembele and a penalty each from Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho, with Javier Bonilla getting a goal for the Segunda B side.

Koeman changed all 11 players at half-time but stuck with a 4-2-3-1 set-up, a system he appears likely to keep for the start of the LaLiga season.

Explaining that decision, the former Netherlands boss told Barca TV: "The midfield system is a little different to previous seasons but the team has the quality to do that and do it well.

"We're looking to move the ball much quicker high up the pitch to break the lines [of the opposition], to create space and generate more dangerous [situations] so the team scores goals.

"It was our first match in pre-season and that is why everyone only played 45 minutes. They need to build rhythm and play with intensity. It was a little better in the second half than the first. Not picking up any injuries was also very important as we looked to set the tempo in the match. That was more important than the final result.

"All the boys did well and we saw some who hadn't played before. There are always things which can be improved upon but, in general, we are very happy with how the players did after just two weeks of training.

"It isn't a normal six-week pre-season. We've only got four weeks and some even less because they've gone away with their national teams or been injured.

"It's important to integrate everyone. It's complicated because all we want is to build up fitness and over the next two weeks add a more tactical side ahead of a complicated league season."

Barca's next friendly match is against Girona on Wednesday.

Harry Maguire will remain Manchester United captain for the coming season despite his legal case in Greece, manager Ole Gunnar Solskjaer has said.

Maguire was found guilty of aggravated assault, resisting arrest, and repeated attempts at bribery at a misdemeanours court in Syros last month.

The 27-year-old, who denied all charges against him, was tried alongside two other defendants after an alleged incident involving police while he was on holiday on the nearby island of Mykonos.

Maguire's legal representatives lodged an appeal, meaning the court's initial verdict was nullified and a full retrial will now take place at a more senior court.

The England international, who was dropped from Gareth Southgate's Nations League squad after the guilty verdict, told the BBC he feared for his life during an apparent altercation with plain-clothed officers, saying: "I thought there was no chance these were police."

"The retrial will give us more time to prepare, gather the evidence, allow witnesses into the court. I'm really confident that the truth will be told and come out," he said.

Speaking ahead of United's pre-season friendly with Aston Villa on Saturday, Solskjaer confirmed he is standing by his skipper.

"Of course, Harry, as you said, had a difficult summer," the United manager told MUTV. "He didn't have a long break. His break was different to others as we gave him a few more days and, after, he's come back and looked fine.

"He's handled it really well and, of course, I'll be here to support him. He is going to be our captain. We'll just leave Harry and his people and the process to run.

"For me, he is a top, an absolute top human being and has always been a positive guy with the right values. So I really hope we can see Harry performing at his best."

The game with Villa will be United's first since they signed Donny van de Beek from Ajax for a fee that could rise to £39.1million (€44m) - their only transfer of the window to date.

Solskjaer has been delighted with the midfielder's first few days of training and made it clear United are still scouring the market for potential deals, although the impact of the coronavirus pandemic has made spending difficult for most clubs.

"He's been training only a couple of days but he's a bright, bubbly character," Solskjaer said. "He wants to learn and the first few signs are positive, not that I doubted that one because I've followed him for a few years, of course.

"He's been a talented youngster and now we felt he was ready to come here. He felt it was the best place to come so, for us, it's a good transfer.

"It's been a strange time and a strange world. Financially, I'm sure loads of clubs have suffered. It looks like it as there has not been a lot of activity in the window.

"We're always looking to improve the squad, scouting players and, if something fits, both the financial bit and the football bit, of course we'll try to make some business. But we can't know how the markets and how other clubs have been affected either."

Lionel Messi is in the Barcelona squad for Saturday's friendly with Gimnastic, but Luis Suarez and Arturo Vidal will not be involved.

Captain Messi is in line to appear in Ronald Koeman's first match in charge despite having tried to engineer a move away from Barca in the past month.

The Argentina star decided to stay at Camp Nou for the final season of his deal rather than threaten Barca with a lawsuit, having tried unsuccessfully to argue that the clause allowing him to terminate his contract was still valid.

Messi felt he was able to make use of that clause because the 2019-20 season was extended by the coronavirus pandemic, but Barca and LaLiga insisted the timeframe in which he would have had to activate it had elapsed.

While Messi is now committed to the club for at least another year, the futures of Vidal and Suarez are far less certain.

Suarez is reported to have been told by Koeman on the phone that he can leave, although AS claim the new Barca coach also made it clear that selling the striker was not his decision.

The Uruguay international has been heavily linked with Juventus, who have allowed Gonzalo Higuain to leave ahead of an expected move to Inter Miami.

Vidal, meanwhile, has been tipped to join Inter to reunite with former Juve boss Antonio Conte.

Barca face Gimnastic at Estadi Johan Cruyff on Saturday in the first of their pre-season fixtures, before playing Girona next Wednesday.

Philippe Coutinho is in the squad, having returned from a loan spell with Bayern Munich, while Francisco Trincao and Pedri could make their first appearances for the club.

They are due to begin their LaLiga season against Villarreal in 15 days' time.

Liverpool boss Jurgen Klopp insists the injury sustained by Virgil van Dijk in Tuesday's friendly with Salzburg is nothing to be concerned about. 

The Netherlands international was forced off in the 55th minute of the Reds' 2-2 draw in Austria after suffering a cut to his head. 

Klopp, though, confirmed after the game that the 29-year-old is not expected to suffer any lasting effects. 

"Virg only looks like he has a piercing now and has a plaster on it," he told Liverpool's official website.

"It should not be, and is, no problem. In the moment it is, of course, not cool but there will not be a problem."

Liverpool face Arsenal in the Community Shield on Saturday before kicking off their Premier League title defence against Leeds United on September 12. 

Rhian Brewster scored a double off the bench as Liverpool came from two goals down to salvage a 2-2 draw against Salzburg in their final pre-season friendly.

Jurgen Klopp again named a strong line-up and granted Sadio Mane, Mohamed Salah, Andy Robertson, Georginio Wijnaldum, Joe Gomez, Neco Williams and Alisson an hour of game time.

The Premier League champions fell behind inside three minutes when Patson Daka caught Fabinho in possession and raced through to slot a cool finish past Alisson.

Daka doubled his and Salzburg's tally 10 minutes later when he darted away from Virgil van Dijk and steered Mergim Berisha's square pass home.

A goal-line block from Albert Vallci kept Mane at bay before half-time, while Van Dijk was forced off after suffering a cut to his head following the restart.

Brewster scored in the 3-0 win over Stuttgart on Saturday and went on as one of seven changes after the hour mark. He fired into the roof of the net at the end of an intricate move to halve the deficit in the 72nd minute.

The 20-year-old striker, who spent the second half of last season on loan at Championship side Swansea City, looped an equaliser into an empty net from 20 yards after Alexander Walke raced off his line to deal with Oumar Solet's poor header and kicked a clearance straight at Curtis Jones.

Klopp's team will now return to England ahead of their Community Shield meeting with Arsenal on Saturday.

Tottenham star Son Heung-min is challenging himself to be sharper in front of goal next season.

The 28-year-old is heading into his sixth season in the Premier League and has been largely consistent over the past four.

His haul of 14 Premier League goals in 2016-17 remains Son's best return, as he has since followed that up with 12, 12 and, most recently, 11 goals in 2019-20.

Spurs could only finish sixth last term, with their apparent lack of attacking cohesion a frequent source of frustration for fans.

Pre-season, although shortened as a consequence of the coronavirus pandemic enforcing a later finish to 2019-20, gives Jose Mourinho a prolonged period to work with his players without the pressure of results.

They defeated Ipswich Town 3-0 in a friendly clash on Saturday and Son netted twice, but he was still frustrated at not finishing off other chances, something he hopes to improve on next term.

"I'm a bit angry because I missed another couple of chances," he told Tottenham's official website.

"This is what I have to look for this season, to be sharp and to be better than last season. I've had 10 years of pre-season in Europe now and it's always so good to score goals, especially in the first game, you want to start with confidence.

"We've trained for a week and the first game is always so important. We scored three goals in the first half, and it could have been more.

"We created many chances and maybe we deserved more goals, but we missed some chances, missed some final passes, but it's the first game and we know we can do better.

"It's early to speak just one week into pre-season, but the lads are looking great, looking hungry."

Spurs begin their Premier League campaign at home to Everton on September 12, but before then they have another three pre-season fixtures scheduled.

Up next is the visit of Reading on Friday, with Birmingham City then due in north London 24 hours later. They go to Watford on September 5.

Jadon Sancho says he "loves" playing with Borussia Dortmund's current crop of players after his side cruised to a convincing 6-0 friendly win over Rheindorf Altach on Wednesday.

Dortmund sporting director Michael Zorc declared earlier this week that Manchester United target Sancho will remain at the German club for the 2020-21 campaign.

England international Sancho, 20, is part of BVB's training camp in Switzerland and played 45 minutes against Austrian side Altach in their opening pre-season friendly.

Lucien Favre fielded plenty of fresh faces at Stadion Schnabelholz and Sancho, into his fourth season at senior level, enjoyed playing with the next generation of young talent. 

"I love playing with this lot," he told BVB-TV. "It is a special bunch. We've got some special young players coming up. I am really happy to share the pitch with them and guide them.

"I was once in their shoes, playing with the seniors. I am happy for them."

Fellow Englishman Jude Bellingham made his first appearance for Dortmund since joining from Birmingham City.

The €25million signing set up goals for Gio Reyna and Erling Haaland and was pleased with his introduction to life with the German giants.

"I loved every minute of it. It was a great first few minutes with the guys on the pitch," he said. "I really enjoyed it. The guys are so good, they made it easy for me. 

"They played very well, even though it was the first game after the break. I am very happy to be part of this team."

Haaland also registered a penalty while fellow senior pros Thorgan Hazard, Emre Can and Julian Brandt were on target in the final 15 minutes.

But it was Bellingham who was singled out for special praise by Favre after his impressive debut display.

"Jude Bellingham was good. He has to play in front of the defence," he said. "It's not easy when you're 17. He was involved in almost all of the goals. 

"He moved forward at the right moments. This is important. He feels when he has to leave his position and has done well. 

"It's important that we have midfielders who can speed up the game and make the final pass."

Bayern Munich will prepare for the latter stages of the Champions League by hosting Marseille in a friendly on July 31.

Bayern are aiming to complete a stunning treble following their post-shutdown romp to the Bundesliga and DFB-Pokal titles.

The German champions are well placed to reach the final eight-team mini-tournament in Lisbon as they lead Chelsea 3-0 heading into the home leg of their last-16 tie.

But Bayern have not played since the Pokal final against Bayer Leverkusen on July 4 and so have organised an exhibition match against Marseille at the FC Bayern Campus. They then face Chelsea on August 8.

Head coach Hansi Flick said: "The 'Audi Football Summit' against Olympique Marseille comes at an optimal time in our preparations for the second leg of the Champions League round of 16 against Chelsea.

"The team and our coaching staff will be working with great focus and high quality to make sure we pick up where we left off with our performances in the Bundesliga and the DFB-Pokal final in this game."

Marseille are preparing for the 2020-21 Ligue 1 season after the previous campaign was curtailed due to coronavirus.

Paris Saint-Germain star Neymar said he was concerned about injuring himself in the 7-0 friendly rout of Waasland-Beveren as the Ligue 1 holders stepped up their preparations for the Champions League quarter-finals.

Neymar, Kylian Mbappe and Mauro Icardi were all on target in PSG's demolition of Belgian outfit Waasland-Beveren at Parc des Princes on Friday.

After Ligue 1 was ended prematurely in April amid the coronavirus pandemic and with the Champions League set to resume in August, PSG have returned to the field in a bid to be ready for the knockout tie against high-flying Atalanta – crushing Le Havre 9-0 last week.

PSG continued their flawless preparation at home to Waasland-Beveren in Paris, where Aleksandar Vukotic's own goal put the hosts ahead in the 21st minute before Neymar converted a penalty seven minutes later.

Icardi and Neymar combined for an audacious penalty attempt in the 47th minute, while Mbappe, Eric Maxim Choupo-Moting's brace and Loic Mbe Soh's last-gasp effort completed the scoring in the second half.

Reflecting on the result, Neymar was asked about the aggressive nature of Waasland-Beveren and he told beIN SPORTS: "Yes we were a little scared. We are here for a friendly match so those types of things should not have been happening.

"We are here to prepare ourselves, but also to be careful. But us too, we gave them a little bit back, so there are no problems."

Neymar added: "I was very happy to come back and play at home, with some fans as well. We are preparing little by little to get to the maximum then we will be in the finals [Champions League]. The rest is not very important."

PSG head coach Thomas Tuchel, meanwhile, confirmed veteran defender Thiago Silva will remain captain until the end of his contract and the Champions League next month.

Silva, who renewed his contract to feature in the postponed Champions League, is set to leave PSG after eight years but the 35-year-old will keep the captain's armband before departing.

"Thiago Silva remains the captain until the last day when he is on the ground," Tuchel said post-match. "He's my captain!"

Paris Saint-Germain head coach Thomas Tuchel expects a tough Champions League clash against Atalanta, but his focus is elsewhere for now.

Around 5,000 fans were in attendance as PSG thrashed Le Havre 9-0 in a friendly on Sunday.

PSG have been drawn to face Atalanta in the Champions League quarter-finals, but have a Coupe de France final against Saint-Etienne and Coupe de la Ligue decider against Lyon prior to that.

Tuchel said he knew PSG would be tested by Atalanta in Lisbon in August, but he is focused on domestic matters.

"It will be difficult but it's not a surprise because we will play a quarter-final. There are eight teams that want to win this competition. Every team can win their three games," the PSG coach said.

"It will be a very difficult game [against Atalanta], it will be very tough. They have many qualities. We have seen that when they played against Juventus [on Saturday]. It is a balanced and offensive team. It is a very physical team. But now, we can't think about that.

"Our challenge is to arrive in Lisbon with two titles. Now we are going to prepare our game against Saint-Etienne. It's the only game that is in my head right now. Then, we will think about Lyon. Then I think we will have 12 days to get ready for our game against Atalanta. We have to go step by step. The first step will be our game against Saint-Etienne."

PSG will be without Edinson Cavani (free agent), Thomas Meunier (Borussia Dortmund) and Tanguy Kouassi (Bayern Munich) for the remainder of the Champions League after the trio departed.

Tuchel said it made life harder for PSG, but he urged his players to push on.

"I am sad that we have lost three key players for this competition – Tanguy, Edi and Thomas Meunier," he said.

"That makes things harder for us. PSG need qualities and a great squad. But all the players did good [against Le Havre] and we have to keep going.

"We all have good relationships. We are ready to continue. Today was a good start."

Neymar, Mauro Icardi and Pablo Sarabia scored braces against Le Havre, while Kylian Mbappe, Idrissa Gueye and Arnaud Muinga were also on the scoresheet.

Chelsea thrashed QPR 7-1 in a friendly match on Sunday, with midfielders Ruben Loftus-Cheek and Billy Gilmour each scoring twice.

Further goals from Mason Mount, Willian and Olivier Giroud helped Frank Lampard's side to an emphatic win at Stamford Bridge as preparations for the Premier League's return continue.

Loftus-Cheek has not made a senior competitive appearance for Chelsea since last season due to a ruptured Achilles sustained last May.

N'Golo Kante started the match against the Championship side, the France star having only resumed team training this week.

Chelsea's win came after a 1-0 defeat of Reading at their Cobham training base in a previous behind-closed-doors friendly.

The Blues are due to resume their league campaign next Sunday against Aston Villa at Villa Park.

Lampard's men were fourth in the table when the competition was suspended in March due to the coronavirus pandemic.

Real Madrid, Bayern Munich and Inter will contest the European Solidarity Cup in 2021 with the aim of raising money for healthcare resources in Italy and Spain in the fight against the coronavirus pandemic.

Spain and Italy have been two of the hardest-hit European nations during the COVID-19 outbreak, recording 27,709 and 32,007 deaths, respectively.

Everyday life – including sport – has seen massive changes across both countries over the past two months, with lockdown measures only recently beginning to be eased.

The three European giants will play matches next year to determine the winner of the European Solidary Cup, but the main purpose will be to aid the purchasing of healthcare supplies and express gratitude to medical professionals for their work during the pandemic.

The matches will be played across each of the three cities, with the tournament announced for 2021 in the hope fans will once again be able to attend.

A statement released by Los Blancos read: "Real Madrid are set to team up with Bayern Munich and Inter to host the European Solidarity Cup in 2021. The three clubs will come together to send out a message of solidarity and fraternity to the people of Europe.

"The solidarity event will see three football matches held during 2021 in the cities of Madrid, Munich and Milan. The dates for these games will depend on the competitive calendar and of course will take place when the fans are able to return to the stands.

"The three teams will all come up against each other: Madrid vs Inter will happen in Madrid, Inter vs Bayern is set for Milan and Bayern vs Madrid will be held in Munich. The proceeds from these games will go towards the purchase of healthcare resources in Italy and Spain.

"Healthcare staff who continue to fight the pandemic will be represented at all of the games. The three clubs wish to demonstrate to these heroes all of our solidarity, respect and gratitude."

Bayern resumed their 2019-20 Bundesliga campaign on Sunday with a 2-0 win over Union Berlin.

LaLiga and Serie A are not expected to recommence until next month at the earliest, however.

West Ham and Crystal Palace's pre-season fixtures in Australia have been postponed amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Premier League clubs and A-League outfit Brisbane Roar were due to play in Queensland in July ahead of the 2020-21 season.

However, those fixtures were unsurprisingly postponed on Wednesday due to COVID-19, which has killed more than 177,000 people worldwide.

"It is a real shame that we will no longer be able to make it over to Queensland this summer, however, it is the right decision to postpone given the circumstances," West Ham manager David Moyes said in a statement.

"The players and I were really looking forward to seeing our fans and the people of Australia, especially as there was great excitement and support for the tournament.

"This is a situation that has affected the entire world, though, and the only thing that matters at this time is that people stay safe and well.

"We hope the tournament can be rearranged at a later date once things are back to normal, and we look forward to visiting Australia in the future."

Australia has seen more than 6,600 coronavirus cases, including 74 deaths.

Barcelona claimed a 2-0 win at third-tier side Cartagena on Wednesday in a match raising money for those affected by flooding in Murcia earlier this year.

A year's worth of rain fell in 24 hours back in September, causing significant damage to farmland, properties and facilities in the south-eastern region.

The charity fundraiser was well attended for the visit of Barca, who named a strong starting XI that included Neto, Gerard Pique, Sergi Roberto, Junior Firpo and Ousmane Dembele.

Former Spain international Pique was withdrawn with the game still level in the 37th minute, while Dembele followed at half-time.

Despite the presence of first-team regulars, it was highly rated 20-year-old midfielder Riqui Puig who caught the eye most, impressing with his vision, close control and positive approach. 

Puig played a role in the opening goal just past the hour, prodding the ball to Carles Perez on the edge of the box after being crowded out and the forward lashed home.

Alejandro Marques wrapped things up late on, turning home Sergio Akieme's low cross.

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