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Griezmann raring to go for Barcelona after best rest in five years

5 months ago
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With football suspended for three months during the coronavirus pandemic, Barcelona's Antoine Griezmann enjoyed a rare break.

Barcelona star Antoine Griezmann is raring to go ahead of LaLiga's resumption after the coronavirus stoppage gave him more time to rest than in the past five years.

Football in Spain, along with most sport across the globe, was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic but will return this week, with Thursday's derby between Sevilla and Real Betis providing the first LaLiga game in three months.

Leaders Barca will get their campaign back under way at an empty Camp Nou against Real Mallorca on Saturday and France international Griezmann cannot wait to be back on the pitch.

Quique Setien's side sit two points clear of Real Madrid with 11 games remaining.

"I think on a personal level it has been good for me," Griezmann told Barca TV.

"I have been able to rest. I think it has been five years since I have had a rest like that so mentally and physically it has been good. I was able to enjoy time with my family, my kids and now I am ready to go.

"We are really looking forward to it. It has been a long time since we played in an official match. I think we have prepared well for this first game and it will be important to get off to a good start in these 11 finals we have left.

"We have all the cards. We have 11 games and if we win them all we will be champions. I think we are ready for it, to win and enjoy the football.

"I have seen some highlights of the Bundesliga, the photos of the fans in the stands, goal celebrations without hugs, all a bit strange but it's nice to see football again.

"It was a bit strange [training at Camp Nou] without the fans or anything but it was a question of getting used to that atmosphere.

"It was nice to play at Camp Nou once again but it will be better in an official match."

The hiatus has enabled Luis Suarez to recover from a knee injury, while Lionel Messi will be fit to face Mallorca despite suffering a quadriceps issue upon his return to training.

Griezmann welcomed Suarez's return as he seeks to continue his development into a key figure for Barca.

"Luis is our number nine, a goalscorer, the one who makes the difference in big games along with Leo," said Griezmann.

"We missed him in the last games. We are really happy to have a player like him back and he will help us from the beginning.

"I want to be an important part of the team, on and off the field, enjoy football and help my team-mates win every game."

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