Messi under La Liga and Government investigation after Barcelona bonding session

Lionel Messi is facing a probe by La Liga and Catalan government officials after hosting a barbecue for the Barcelona squad.

The Argentine forward invited his teammates over on Monday evening ahead of a vital fixture run which will decide the title race.

Third-place Barcelona host La Liga-leaders Atletico Madrid on Saturday, while defending champions Real Madrid are second with four games remaining.

Messi – who serves as Barca captain – wanted his teammates to bond ahead of their clash with Atletico, according to reports in Spain.

Cameras set up outside the 33-year-old’s home recorded players spurring each other on with chants of “Campeones, campeones”.

Messi is under investigation from local government and La Liga officials

Barcelona insist Messi’s barbecue did not breach coronavirus regulations as their players are all members of the same bubble.

Nonetheless, La Liga are also looking into whether the event broke the rule of six which is currently in force.

Moreover, Catalan authorities are investigating the gathering as many members of the squad also brought their wives and girlfriends to the event.

The Argentine has scored 28 goals in 32 La Liga games this season
The Argentine has scored 28 goals in 32 La Liga games this season

Who will win La Liga this season? Have your say in the comments.

“The public health agency will study the case,” confirmed Meritxell Budo – a Catalan regional government spokesperson – on Tuesday.

The barbecue was held in Messi’s garden with tables positioned far enough apart to allow for social distancing.

Elsewhere, Atletico Madrid’s squad also enjoyed a team bonding session after Marcos Llorente fired them to a 1-0 victory at Elche on Saturday.

But they are not under investigation as they informed authorities of the gathering beforehand.

Atletico’s trip to Camp Nou may prove to be the decisive game in the title race, with just two points separating the sides at present.

Their form has been mixed in recent weeks, while Barcelona recovered from their shock defeat by Granada to beat Valencia 3-2 on Sunday.

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