Barcelona fans – and supporters of the Spanish game – were handed some welcomed positive news over the weekend when Prime Minister, Pedro Sanchez, made the announcement that La Liga and Segunda Division action can return from 8 June 2020.
As with almost everyone in the world, the sporting calendar was forced to take a temporary back-seat amid the global pandemic and has put everything on what seems like a break that has gone forever.
Players had returned to training earlier this month following the suspension of the league back on 12 March and have recently progressed a step closer back to normality after clubs were allowed to holding training sessions in groups of 10.
Indeed, the return of top-flight football comes with certain conditions that need to be met, such as fixtures being played behind closed doors and although there has been no timescale, it would be reasonable to assume that will be the case for the foreseeable future. But, with the news that the country will open their borders to international visitors and look to restart their economy via the much-relied upon tourism sector in July, maybe football matches may not be held without fans for too long?
However, with the appeal Spanish football has around the world – as well as the reputation and presence that Barcelona carries – it would not be a surprise to see a number of their matches made even more accessible to many of their fans by virtue of televised productions.
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Germany’s Bundesliga has already shown Europe how to go about proceedings as they made a return to competitive action with reasonable success, whilst the top-flights in England and Italy are both looking to get things restarted as soon as they possibly can as well.
Of course, Lionel Messi and Barcelona went into the forced break with a two-point advantage at the top of the La Liga table, but with 11 games to go, Quique Setien’s men still have plenty to do to ensure they remain at the top of the ladder come the conclusion of the campaign.
Perhaps thankfully, the Blaugrana have already played fierce-rivals Real Madrid twice this season with some rather mixed outcomes – a draw in December and a defeat in the penultimate game before the current hiatus.
In addition, Setien’s side have also completed their ties against European chasers Valencia, Getafe and Real Sociedad, although tough fixtures against Sevilla and Atletico Madrid still remain.
Therefore, Barcelona could perhaps be considered a good bet to side with when taking a look at the Spanish market, although they will need the likes of Messi, Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann to help fire them to victory – especially with Real Madrid sitting right on the Catalan’s tails.
Now, though, Setien and his squad must put in the hard yards on the training pitch to ensure they are ready as everyone will likely be targeting them as a team they want to beat following the break.