Barcelona goes to Real Mallorca in their first match since the coronavirus suspension and the islanders are braced for Lionel Messi. Ahead of Barcelona’s visit to Son Moix, Real Mallorca coach Vicente Moreno said “Lionel Messi will make the difference whenever he wants and there is nothing his rivals can do to stop him when he is in such a mood.”

LaLiga resumed Thursday after more than a three-month hiatus enforced by the coronavirus pandemic, and Barca will resume her title charge at Palma on Saturday.

Mallorca hosts – in the third position of relegation – may have sunk by kick-off to 19th position, and they are well aware of the formidable challenge ahead.

Given the risk of a bit of rustiness after such a lengthy break, Moreno expects Messi to be as lethal as ever-but it is a privilege to come up against him, the coach says.

Messi was inspiring for a Barca squad that had faced a lot of emotions this season before the suspension, the Argentina star scoring 19 goals – including a hat-trick at Camp Nou against Mallorca – and providing 12 assists, both of which are league-high figures.

cnn.com

In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, after being left out of training “as per protocol established by LaLiga” after reports that he attended a party earlier in the week, Barca is set to be without Nelson Semedo, flouting the medical guidelines. Given strong criticism of him, Moreno has sympathy for the four Seville players caught breaking similar laws at a barbecue last month.

“I think the players are young people too. We always make a great effort. Often it seems like we have no other choice because they earn a huge amount of money, we just judge the athlete because he makes a lot of money. Anyway, I don’t have much to say. They ‘re young people and, like many of us, they want to get out of the lockdown and go out to dinner with friends. We also judge them correctly or wrongly, based on some pictures that someone may have posted without your knowledge. So, I understand him [Semedo] and I don’t think he had any wrong intentions. Again, I think we need to give the player trust and not kill him,” he said.

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