Lionel Messi posts Instagram statement amid coronavirus outbreak

FC Barcelona v Real Sociedad  - La Liga

Nobody in football can say with any real certainty how the rest of the season is going to pan out. 

Leagues across Europe, as well as the Champions League and Europa League, have been suspended due to the coronavirus outbreak. 

In the absence of competitive action, players can still use their position to inspire millions around the world, none more so than Lionel Messi. 

The six-time Ballon d'Or winner will not be in action with Barcelona until further notice and in light of La Liga being postponed, he has taken to Instagram to release a statement.

Messi posted a photo of him at his home in Catalonia alongside two of his children with the caption: "These are difficult 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 time, or because it directly affects them or their family and friends.

"I want to send a lot of strength to them, to those who are working on the front line to fight it in hospitals and health centres.

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"Health always comes first. This is an exceptional time and we must follow the instructions of both the health organisations and the public authorities. This is the only way we can change it effectively.

"It's time to be responsible and stay at home, plus it's the perfect time to be with your loved ones, which you can't always do. A hug, and hopefully we can turn this situation around as soon as possible."

Wise words from the 32-year-old and hopefully they will serve as a reminder to his many followers to take the necessary precautions. 

It seemed only a matter of time before football was affected by this public health crisis. 

In the meantime, we can only heed Messi's advice as we wait for La Liga and its European counterparts to return. 

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