Don’t make him angry! Real Mallorca boss wary of upsetting Lionel Messi ahead of La Liga return

Spanish top-flight football returns to action on Saturday, with Real Mallorca preparing to welcome Barcelona to the Son Moix stadium, and the islanders’ coach admitting he’s very wary of firing up Lionel Messi ahead of the match.

The last time the two sides met, Messi bagged a hat-trick in a resounding 5-2 Barca win in a match that saw Mallorca coach Vicente Moreno clash with the Argentinian ace during the first half.

That confrontation appeared to fire up Messi, who went on to lead the Catalan side to a convincing win. Ahead of their clash in Palma on Saturday, Moreno said he won’t be drawn into any similar incidents this time around.

“I won’t be having another run-in with Messi,” he told Spanish radio station Onda Cero ahead of the match.

“It went pretty badly the last time as he ended up scoring three goals.”

Barca were 2-1 up in the December clash when Messi reacted angrily to a foul from Mallorca’s Joan Sastre. That led to an exchange between Messi and Moreno before play resumed and a fired-up Messi scored twice to complete his hat-trick and lead Barca to a 5-2 win.

“It was a foul but at the time I didn’t think it was and I told the referee and that didn’t go down well with Messi,” said Moreno.

“There was an exchange of words and that was that.

“The big exchange happened in the tunnel at halftime, when Messi told me they were going to put seven goals past us and he said the same to Luis Suarez.

“They didn’t manage seven goals but after the game my players said I was responsible for the defeat because I had angered Leo. He is the best player in the world, look at the character he has.”

The two sides will meet again at the Son Moix with Barca sitting at the top of the La Liga table with 58 points from 27 games played, just two points ahead of old rivals Real Madrid.

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