Lionel Messi talks about his experience with the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
Lionel Messi has had quite a similar experience just like anyone else, with the COVID-19 pandemic, being locked at home for a couple of months.
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The League is resuming next month with all the Barcelona players returning to training to prepare for the 11 La Liga matches and the potential champions league fixtures they might face if they defeat Napoli in their second-leg match after drawing the first 1-1.
Leo opens up about he had never imagined the vast, global impact of coronavirus as the pandemic continues to affect the lives of billions of people in the world. Sports all over the globe have come to a standstill as a result of the outbreak with only Bundesliga recently restarting when it comes to football. La Liga has been reported to resume on June 8.
The Barcelona captain has told Adidas that he can’t wait to return to play but realizes that things may not be the same once football resumes as everyone must put safety as their utmost priority.
“When we start playing again, it will be like starting from scratch. We’ll have some time to get ready before the league starts up, and we’ll also get back key players on our team who were injured. Technically it will still be the same season, but I think every team and player will feel it’s different.” Messi told adidas.
The turn of football comes with a catch that the stadiums will be without any spectators. As seen in the recent Bundesliga matches, the players had to get used to the empty stadiums as if it was just another training session but the results matter. Messi shares this concern that not everyone will react well to these empty stadiums and must adapt to a different vibe.
“There is talk of finishing out the Spanish league’s season without spectators, which brings a whole set of challenges. The group preparation is the same as for any other game, but individually each person needs to prepare and visualise playing without fans, because it’s very strange. I had to do it for a home game, and it was downright spooky. But it’s normal that the league would resume this way after everything we’ve been going through. With all that’s happening in the world, it’s perfectly understandable.”
The pandemic has resulted in the cancellation or suspension of multiple sporting events that were planned for this year. Copa America is one such tournament that was planned for this summer but has been postponed till 2021. Leo has yet to win a Copa America for Argentina after reaching the finals twice in recent years, losing both times to Chile. The 32-year-old is gradually reaching his retirement and 2021 may very well be the last opportunity he has to win a trophy for Argentina.
Leo was extremely hurt when he heard that the Copa America was postponed to 2021 but understands the decision as it was necessary taking into account of the current situation.
“Pushing back the Copa America was a huge disappointment, but of course it was to be expected and was the reasonable thing to do. The Copa was going to be a big occasion for me this year, and I was extremely excited to compete in it again. It hit me hard when I learned it would be postponed, but I completely understood.” Leo continued.
The club and country skipper has advised everyone to look to the future and slowly come to term with the changes that have come to football as a result of the ongoing pandemic.
“We can’t dwell on what we’re leaving behind this year. It’s better to look to the future. To getting back to the daily training routine, to seeing team-mates, to playing the first games. I’m sure it will be strange at first, but I’m very eager to start competing again!”
Millions of Barca fans now await the return of their favorite player with the club hoping to push hard to win both La Liga and the Champions League this season.
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