sport news Lionel Messi scores for the first time since dramatic u-turn to stay at ...

What transfer request? Lionel Messi scores for the first time since dramatic U-turn to stay at Barcelona as captain hits impressive brace in pre-season friendly against Girona Lionel Messi proved his contract saga is firmly behind him as he netted a brace Two goals from outside the area, one left foot, one right, helped down Girona They are the first goals Messi has scored since agreeing to remain at the club  Philippe Coutinho had the enviable task of scoring the opener with a tap-in 

By Nathan Salt For Mailonline

Published: 19:33 BST, 16 September 2020 | Updated: 20:04 BST, 16 September 2020

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Any fears Lionel Messi's mind may be elsewhere this season, having begrudgingly agreed to remain at the club this summer, were quashed with a stunning brace against Girona. 

Messi had pushed hard for a move to Manchester City, a reunion with his old boss Pep Guardiola, only for the club board and LaLiga to stand firm on his €700million (£630m) release clause. 

He announced he is to stay for the season, retained the captaincy in the squad and showed on Wednesday night he is not distracted at all on the pitch with two impressive outside-of-the-box strikes at the Johan Cruyff Stadium. 

Lionel Messi (right) put on another masterclass as he scored twice in a friendly against Girona

Lionel Messi (right) put on another masterclass as he scored twice in a friendly against Girona

His first came with his right foot before his second, on his left foot, pushed them 3-1 ahead

His first came with his right foot before his second, on his left foot, pushed them 3-1 ahead

They were the first strikes Messi has scored since he demanded to leave the club this summer

They were the first strikes Messi has scored since he demanded to leave the club this summer

Messi's burofax to the club sent shockwaves through the world of sport as he demanded to be allowed to leave the club - in his mind, leave for nothing. 

That did not transpire and while he initially boycotted pre-season testing and then training in a bid to ramp up pressure, the club held firm and Messi eventually

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