By Nathan Salt For Mailonline
Published: 19:33 BST, 16 September 2020 | Updated: 20:04 BST, 16 September 2020
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
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
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