Lionel Messi will return to the Barcelona side on Sunday against Osasuna. Along with Frenkie de Jong, the Argentina star did no travel to Ukraine for the game against Dynamo Kiev in midweek. Ronald Koeman gave the duo some time off to recover physically and mentally following a draining start to the season.
After an intense summer off the pitch, Messi's still not at his peak on the pitch. He returned from the international break with Argentina last week saying he was "tired" of so many problems at Barça. The mental break should do him good.
A 'week off' hopefully allowed Messi to renew his energy. However, the death of Diego Maradona will have complicated the week for the forward.
In any case, Messi has always needed the ball to be happy and he will have it against Osasuna. The Barça No.10 is and will continue to be the leader of this team in reconstruction. Koeman has stressed that the squad will need time to evolve. The season has not started well in terms of results in La Liga but the season is not decided before Christmas. The players know that.
The objective now is to grow as a team and to peak in the decisive phase of the campaign.
Sunday's game against Osasuna at Camp Nou would appear to be the ideal setting to get back to winning ways and restore some confidence in the league -- even if Osasuna did win at Camp Nou last season, provoking Messi's criticism: "Playing like this we won't even beat Napoli."
With 640 goals in a Barça shirt, Messi is just three away from equalling Pele's record of one-club scoring. The Brazilian netted 643 for Santos. Leo has six goals and four assists in 11 games this season. His numbers are below his past figures but Barcelonismo have blind faith in him.
And more than seeing him score goals. Barça fans want to see him smiling again. Because the two will come together.