Busquets Returns To Barcelona Ahead Of Roma Test

FILE PHOTO Barcelona’s Spanish midfielder Sergio Busquets (L) vies with Olympiakos’ midfielder Panagiotis Tachtsidis (R) during the UEFA Champions League group D football match between FC Barcelona and Olympiakos FC at the Karaiskakis stadium in Piraeus near Athens
LOUISA GOULIAMAKI / AFP

 

Barcelona have been boosted by the return of Sergio Busquets ahead of their Champions League quarter-final against Roma on Wednesday. 

Busquets trained with the first team on Monday after recovering from a broken bone in his foot, sustained against Chelsea three weeks ago.

Ernesto Valverde must now decide whether Busquets is ready to start at the Nou Camp but the midfielder appeared to come through a training session without any problems.

Barcelona are looking to reach the last four of the Champions League for the first time in three years, after falling at the quarter-final stage both in 2016 and 2017.

A Barcelona statement read: “The key news was Sergio Busquets, who has trained with the group.”

The verdict was less positive, however, for Real Madrid and their defender Nacho, who was forced off injured during the first half of Saturday’s win over Las Palmas.

Real confirmed on Monday that Nacho has a strain in his right thigh ahead of their own Champions League first leg away to Juventus on Tuesday.

A club statement read: “The tests carried out today to our player Nacho Fernandez by the Medical Services of Real Madrid have diagnosed him with an injury to the muscle of the right thigh. Evolution pending.”

Real play Juve in a repeat of last year’s final as Zinedine Zidane’s team pursue a third consecutive European triumph.

AFP

Neymar To PSG Just Rumours, Says Ernesto Valverde

Barcelona manager, Ernesto Valverde and midfielder Sergio Busquets were pressed by reporters on Friday to clarify rumours that Barcelona star Neymar is headed to PSG after the team’s U.S. tour.

Valverde and Busquets both said they did not know if the transfer rumours were serious and expressed hope that Neymar would remain at Camp Nou.

Valverde said: “This is a time of rumours and we understand that’s how it is. But he’s with us right now and we want absolutely for him to stay here. I’ve spoken to Neymar but we just talked about tactics and other stuff. He’s a player we love and we want him. Not only football wise but also the things that he brings to the team in the locker room. So basically going back to that rumour. That’s all it is.

Valverde

“I understand that you insist on the Neymar topic but there’s not need to worry about something that we don’t know if it’s going to happen or not. Busquets is here right now and he’s not going to leave tomorrow. Neymar is here right now and he’s not going to leave tomorrow. If it happens in the future we’ll worry about it but for now, there’s no need to worry about it.”

Read Also: Neymar Will Not Be Leaving Barcelona -Club President

Midfielder Sergio Busquets added: “What I can say is that, as far as I’m concerned, I hope he (Neymar) stays here for many years. But, as I said before, this exists, and it’s a matter more for him than for me.

Sergio Busquets

“As far as I’m concerned, I can say that I want him to stay many years, but I don’t know anything else.”

Juventus and Barcelona open their 2017 International Champions Cup campaigns with a clash at MetLife Stadium, New Jersey, on Saturday, July 22.

The game will be the first time the two sides have met since Juventus knocked Barca out of the UEFA Champions League in April with a 3-0 aggregate win.

Mascherano Warns Barcelona Against Juventus Attackers

Courtesy: marca.com

Barcelona defender, Javier Mascherano, has cautioned his teammates against Juventus pair, Gonzalo Higuain and Paulo Dybala, ahead of Tuesday night’s UEFA Champions League quarter-final first leg tie.

Juventus will meet Barcelona for the first time since the 2015 Champions League final, when an early Ivan Rakitic strike left Massimiliano Allegri’s men with a mountain to climb before they succumbed 3­-1 in Berlin.

Barcelona will be without Sergio Busquets due to suspension, meaning Mascherano could be given a rare outing in the midfield holding role.

Neymar, as well as Rakitic and Gerard Pique, who returned to the team following a suspension against Malaga, are all one booking away from a suspension that would rule them out of the return leg.