BARCELONA

Coronavirus: a masked Messi returns for Barcelona tests

The Argentine arrived at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper in his car without a mask but, as per protocol, soon had it on as the focus on a LaLiga restart continues.

FC Barcelona started their 'new normal' on Wednesday as players returned following the stoppage due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Catalan club summoned their players first thing to go through a Covid-19 PCR test, just as Real Madrid did with theirs.

Masked Messi returns

One of the players missed most around the globe during this period is Barça’s Argentinian forward Lionel Messi and he pitched up at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper in his car without a mask or gloves, unlike many others. He did, however, add a mask later, something that is compulsory at the facilities.

The Argentine footballer arrived around 09:00 local time with his teammate and friend Luis Suárez, each in their own vehicle, and left the premises 40 minutes later after taking the test. Results take a few hours.

The strike pair and the rest of the squad - at least all those who test negative - are scheduled to return to training in the coming days, with doubts still remaining as to what will happen with the resumption of the Spanish league. In France they have cancelled and handed our the awards. In Germany they are set to continue soon. Quique Setien's men lead the LaLiga table with one more point than Real Madrid, but whether they are the best side in the league has already been questioned by one notable Belgian.