Real Mallorca boss Vicente Moreno has promised not to anger Barcelona star Lionel Messi again ahead of their meeting on Saturday evening.
The two had a disagreement in the league meeting between the sides earlier in the season in which the Argentine star netted a hat-trick in a 5-2 victory for the Catalan side.
“My players told me after the game that I was the culprit for the defeat because I made Messi angry,” Moreno told Onda Cero, as cited by Marca.
“So this I will not be having another argument with him, because he scored three goals that time – he told me they were going to score and he would tell Luis Suarez to make sure they scored seven.
“He is the best player in the world and is a genius, he has the desire to win – look at the character he has.
“This time, I will not get into fights, it does not suit me.”
Earlier this week, Barcelona coach Quique Setien allayed fitness concerns on his star playing by telling Cadena Cope: “There was a minor issue but he is fine, it is normal after you have a long break and not training was just a precaution.
“At this stage you cannot take any risks with players as it could mean they then miss several weeks, and we cannot afford that with just 11 games left.”
The Argentine star did not train with his Blaugrana teammates over several sessions last week and instead had been working on an individual training programme in the club’s gym facilities, as highlighted by Diario Sport.
There had been fears that the Argentine star’s fitness issue may be worse than first feared and could have come at the worst possible time, with the club set to play their final 11 rounds of league action in a condensed timeframe.
Messi is the top scorer in La Liga this campaign with 19 goals to his name (averaging one goal per 99 minutes) and is five strikes clear of Karim Benzema (14) in second place.
Luis Suarez – third on the list – is set to return after a lengthy layoff although Ousmane Dembele is not expected to return until August at the earliest.
Barcelona lead Real Madrid by two points at the league’s summit ahead of La Liga returning this week.