In exclusive quotes to Diario SPORT, the Argentine forward Lionel Messi feels the coronavirus break in football could have positive implications for FC Barcelona.
La Liga stopped in March because of the pandemic after Barça had moved back to the top of La Liga, though the sensations from previous team games were not particularly good. They had drawn with Napoli in Europe and had to beat them at Camp Nou to make the last eight of the Champions League (the game didn’t go ahead as expected in the end).
Speaking to SPORT, Messi admitted: “This pause in play may end up benefiting us, but let’s see if the competitions we ‘re in can start again first. Then we’ll be able to see the level we ‘re at or how far we can go once we start again.”
Another reason Messi is optimistic is the return of Luis Suarez, who was injured when the league was suspended but now after a four-month lay off is fit again. Both have a good on- and off-pitch relation. Suarez’s absence left Messi alone in the team ‘s attack.
While becoming champions in the league, Barcelona suffered a fall in the form with Messi saying at the time that the Barca side wasn’t strong enough to challenge for the Champions League title in its current state. Those comments were followed by a loss to Real Madrid of 2-0 Clasico.
Messi explained his comments in the interview on Thursday by saying that he has no reservations about the potential of his teammates who will play again.
“What I meant was playing as we did in those final few games before the suspension of football, of course, we wouldn’t win the Champions League,” Messi meant.
If the Champions League match returns, Barcelona enters its final 16-second leg match against Italian side Napoli tied at 1-1