Barcelona forward Lionel Messi has confessed that he does not believe football – or life in general – will ever be the same when the coronavirus crisis is over.
The Bundesliga is already back underway and the Premier League, Serie A and La Liga are set to follow suit in the coming weeks, but all games will be played behind closed doors in an attempt to keep fans and players as safe as possible.
Speaking to El País (via ESPN), Messi admitted that the impact on football will be huge, but he did not ignore that some people have had their lives irreparably altered as a result of the virus, which has claimed the lives of nearly 400,000 people worldwide.
“I don’t think football will ever be the same,” Messi said. “But beyond football, I don’t think life, in general, will ever be the same, either.
“All of us that have experienced this situation will remember what happened in one way or another. In my case, it’s with a feeling of sorrow and frustration for those that have suffered the most due to the loss of loved ones.
“I am sure that football and sport, in general, will be affected. Financially, because there are companies linked with the world of sport that will maybe experience some difficulties because of the coronavirus.
“But also professionally, because with the return to training and competing, what was normal before now is going to be different. It will be a strange situation for us as athletes but also for anyone that has to change their usual work dynamic.”
The Barcelona man, who has donated over €1m to help fight the pandemic, then chose to reemphasise his respect for the health workers in Spain, Argentina and across the world who have put their lives at risk to try and keep the public safe.
“I am grateful to all of the people that are fighting to beat this virus in hospitals, health centres and care homes,” he added. “Nearly all of us have doubts about how the world will be after everything that’s happened.
“Beyond the lockdown measures and the whole situation, which caught us by surprise, many people have had a really tough time because they’ve been directly affected.
“People have lost family and friends and were not even able to say goodbye. There have been a lot of negatives to come from this crisis, but I don’t think there’s anything worse than losing your loved ones. That, for me, is hugely frustrating and unfair.”
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