Barcelona & Lionel Messi Pay Respects to Maradona [WATCH]

Lionel Messi

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Barcelona and Lionel Messi paid their respects to Diego Maradona with a minute’s silence at their training ground before Friday’s session.

The club showed the players walking out for training before congregating together in a circle to remember the Argentine legend who died at the age of 60 on Wednesday at his home in Buenos Aires.

Barcelona noted how it was an especially poignant moment for captain Messi.

The 33-year-old had already posted his own tribute to Maradona on social media. He wrote, “A very sad day for all Argentines and football. He leaves us but does not leave, because Diego is eternal. I keep all the beautiful moments lived with him and wanted to take advantage to send condolences to all his family and friends. RIP.”

The club will hold another minute’s silence at the Camp Nou on Sunday before their kick-off against Osasuna. La Liga announced on Thursday that all matches in Spain’s top two divisions will honor Maradona, as reported by Football Espana.

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Barcelona Remember Maradona

Barcelona have also paid tribute to Maradona in other ways. The Argentine spent two years at the Camp Nou before joining Serie A side Napoli in 1984. Flags flew at half-mast around the club this week and Barca posted a message of gratitude on social media, as reported by the club’s website.

Manager Ronald Koeman also posted a message on Twitter. The Dutch coach remembered coming up against the legendary Argentine during his playing career with Barcelona.

Maradona was buried in a private ceremony in Buenos Aires on Thursday. Enormous crowds had earlier come out to say farewell and pay their respects to the World Cup winner whose coffin was put on public display in the presidential palace, as reported by BBC News.


Messi to Make Barcelona Return

Barcelona will now turn their focus back to La Liga and Sunday’s visit from Osasuna. The game should see Messi return to the starting XI after being rested for the midweek trip to Dynamo Kiev in the Champions League.

The Argentine and Frenkie de Jong were both left out of the squad for the match in Ukraine after a hectic start to 2020-21, while Koeman named a much-changed team packed full of youth that ran out 4-0 winners to secure qualification to the knockout stages.

Koeman is expected to name a strong team for Sunday’s match with his team badly in need of a win after defeat to Atletico Madrid in their last league outing. The loss was Barca’s third in eight matches in La Liga and leaves them down in 13th place in the table.

Osasuna head to Barcelona on the same points as Barcelona, although they have played a game more than the Catalan giants. Yet Jagoba Arrasate’s side possess a poor record away from home this season.

Osasuna have already been beaten at Sevilla and Getafe, with their only win coming on an opening day against newly-promoted Cadiz. Anything other than a Barcelona victory at the Camp Nou on Sunday will be seen as a big surprise and will heap more pressure on Koeman.

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