Coronavirus: Messi says resuming season will be 'like starting from scratch'

By Sports Desk May 27, 2020

Barcelona superstar Lionel Messi said resuming the 2019-20 LaLiga season will feel like "starting from scratch".

Barca were two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table when play was suspended in March, though the Spanish government has given the green light for the competition to return in the week commencing June 8.

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner thinks it will feel like a different season, though he pointed out the benefit of the break offering a chance for players like Ousmane Dembele, who had been sidelined with a hamstring injury, to recover.

In an interview with adidas, Messi said: "We all wonder when we'll get back to work, when we'll start training and competing again.

"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 said his team-mates would need to prepare mentally for the prospect of playing in an empty stadium, an experience he faced when Barca played Las Palmas behind closed doors at Camp Nou in October 2017.

The Argentina international scored twice in a 3-0 victory that day, and Messi recalled the atmosphere that day as he warned of the challenges it can present.

"There is talk of finishing out the Spanish league's season without spectators, which brings a whole set of challenges," said the 32-year-old.

"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."

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