FC Barcelona has to do without the injured Lionel Messi on Friday at the start of the La Liga season. Frenkie de Jong can make his official debut against Athletic Bilbao.
Messi has a calf injury and therefore missed a large part of the preparation. The five-time Golden Ball winner skipped the training this week.
De Jong's acquisition - he came for 75 million euros from Ajax - is indeed part of the nineteen selection team. The midfielder made an impression in his first practice duels at the Spanish top club and can therefore officially make his debut against Bilbao.
Trainer Ernesto Valverde has, apart from the injured Messi, an almost fit selection in the Basque Country. The only other absentee is Neto reserve keeper, who also suffers from an injury.
Athletic Bilbao-FC Barcelona starts Friday evening at 9 p.m. The duel in San Mamés is the opening of the La Liga season. All other competitions follow Saturday and Sunday.
View the program in La Liga