Jean-Clair Todibo: Barcelona Players 'Go Easy' on Lionel Messi to Avoid Injury

Rory Marsden@@roomarsdenFeatured ColumnistJanuary 24, 2020

BARCELONA, SPAIN - JANUARY 19: Lionel Messi of FC Barcelona looks at the ball during the Liga match between FC Barcelona and Granada CF at Camp Nou on January 19, 2020 in Barcelona, Spain. (Photo by Alex Caparros/Getty Images)
Alex Caparros/Getty Images

Barcelona's players tend to "go easy" on Lionel Messi in training in order to avoid injuring the Argentinian superstar, according to Jean-Clair Todibo.

The 20-year-old joined Barca from Toulouse in January 2019. He made two La Liga appearances in the second half of last season and two more in the first half of 2019-20 before moving to Schalke on a six-month loan earlier in January.

Talking to German outlet Bild (h/t Goal's James Westwood), Todibo explained the precautions that are taken at Barca to avoid causing Messi any problems: "We all knew that he couldn't get injured. I learned a lot [from Messi] and also stole a few balls from him [in training]. But you go easy on Messi; nobody wants to hurt him."

Messi, 32, remains the most important player in Barcelona's squad.

When he missed the first four games of the 2019-20 La Liga campaign because of a foot injury, Barca made their worst start to a season in 25 years:

As a result of his injury, it took the six-time Ballon d'Or winner until October to get his first goal of the campaign:

He now has 14 in La Liga and two in the UEFA Champions League in 2019-20.

Messi's continuing good form and fitness is even more important for Barcelona now after it was recently confirmed Luis Suarez will be out for around four months with a knee injury.

New manager Quique Setien opted to leave Messi out of the squad for Wednesday's Copa del Rey fixture against third-tier Ibiza, during which Barca trailed 1-0 for more than an hour.

They eventually scraped through thanks to an Antoine Griezmann double in the last 20 minutes.

Messi is likely to return to the starting XI for Barca's crucial away clash against Valencia in La Liga on Saturday.

Related

    Barca Go Top as Madrid Lose

    A disastrous night for Zidane as Hazard also went off injured

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Barca Go Top as Madrid Lose

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report

    Hazard Subbed with Injury

    Madrid face Man City and Barca next

    FC Barcelona logo
    FC Barcelona

    Hazard Subbed with Injury

    Gill Clark
    via Bleacher Report

    Barcelona Chief Trolled in His Own Seat

    Bartomeu's spot at Camp Nou had a Real Madrid badge stuck on it

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Barcelona Chief Trolled in His Own Seat

    MARCA in English
    via MARCA in English

    Prem Winners and Losers 🏆

    💪 Big day for Giroud and Mahrez 👎 Mourinho's out of ideas 💰 UCL looking tough for Sheff Utd

    World Football logo
    World Football

    Prem Winners and Losers 🏆

    Gianni Verschueren
    via Bleacher Report