Lionel Messi echoed the sentiments of Cristiano Ronaldo in calling for people to follow the guidance of health organizations amid the coronavirus pandemic.
With LaLiga suspended for at least the next two matchdays, Messi and his Barcelona team-mates do not know when their title challenge will resume.
Barcelona are top of the table, two points clear of Real Madrid whose players have been told to self-isolate for 15 days after a member of the club’s basketball team tested positive for COVID-19.
After Ronaldo, Jurgen Klopp, Paul Pogba and other leading names from the football world spoke out to encourage the public to take precautions for their health, Messi followed suit with a post on his Instagram account.
He said: “These are complicated days for everyone.
“We live worried about what is happening and we want to help [by] putting ourselves in the place of those who are having the worst of it, either because it directly affected them or their family and friends, or because they are working on the front line to combat it in hospitals and health centers.
“I want to send a lot of strength to all of them.”
Messi has scored 19 goals in 22 LaLiga appearances this season, most recently netting the winner in Barcelona’s 1-0 victory over Real Sociedad on March 7.
The Blaugrana were scheduled to play Mallorca on Sunday ahead of a midweek clash with Napoli in the Champions League, both of which have been postponed.
Messi added: “Health must always come first. It is an exceptional moment and you must follow the instructions of both health organisations and public authorities.
“Only in this way can we combat it effectively.”