Lionel Messi scored a stunning lob in Barcelona training ahead of the return of La Liga.
The Barcelona captain produced a brilliant effort from outside the penalty area that flew over the goalkeeper and into the top corner.
It wasn’t the only moment of brilliance from the Argentine. He also dinked an effort onto the crossbar which was subsequently smashed home by striker Luis Suarez.
Messi is expected to lead his team out on Saturday against Real Mallorca when Barcelona resume their La Liga campaign after a break of almost three months because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Manager Quique Setien has said he has no doubts about Messi’s availability despite the captain having missed training last week with a minor quadriceps injury.
Mallorca Not Relishing Messi Reunion
Real Mallorca will not be relishing meeting Messi again this season. Vicente Moreno’s side were hammered 5-2 at the Camp Nou back in December, with Messi scoring a hat-trick. Suarez was also on target with a specular strike.
Messi clashed with Mallorca manager Moreno during the 90 minutes, and the 45-year-old has made it clear he does not want to tangle with the Barcelona forward again in an interview with Onda Cero.
“I think Setien has already said that Messi will play in the match. Barcelona in any scenario is a favorite but we have the hope of winning the match, as we did against Madrid. I already told you that I will not have another altercation with Messi, it did not go well.”
Mallorca haven’t hosted Barcelona and Messi in La Liga since 2012. They won’t need reminding that they last time they did the Catalan ran out 4-2 winners with Messi scoring twice.
Barcelona Looking Good in Training
Messi and Barcelona are “desperate to get back on the pitch” ahead of Saturday’s match, according to Sport’s Jordi Gil. The players are in great shape after weeks of training and hungry to resume their title defense.
Striker Antoine Griezmann has backed up the report. The World Cup winner told the club’s media that “the break has been good for me” and added this is the “first time in five years since I have had a rest like that.”
Defender Clement Lenglet also feels stars such as Griezmann and Messi will have benefitted from the pause in competition. He offered some insight in an interview with Movistar.
“This break has been good for us to work, and we have had more time to recover or rest. Players like Leo Messi or Antoine Griezmann never have vacations, between World Cups, Euro Cups or the Copa América … This break has been especially good for them so they can rest.”
Barcelona have 11 games of the 2019-20 campaign left and restart with a two-point advantage at the top of the table.