Barcelona president Laporta: We'll work with Maradona to protect Messi

Barcelona president Joan Laporta was delighted to welcome Diego Maradona back to the Nou Camp last night.

Barcelona president Joan Laporta was delighted to welcome Diego Maradona back to the Nou Camp last night.

The Argentina coach watched Barca - and Lionel Messi - dismantle Real Mallorca 3-1 and Laporta revealed afterwards: "It was a hard-working victory. It was not easy to win after the break and the team needed this.

"I had a special thrill to see Maradona. The reunion went well. He knows football and what it represents to be the best player in the world.

"We want to protect Messi. It is a major challenge for all to make sure his football career continues. We must respect the rules. If he is called to play against France in February, he will go."

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