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Barça midfielder Aleña speaks following his first start in nearly a year

Alexandre Patanian

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Photo by Eric Alonso/Getty Images

Carles Aleña started his first game for Barça in nearly a year. His last start for his boyhood club came in December 2019 against Inter Milan, and Ronald Koeman selected him against Dynamo Kyiv after injuries decimated his squad. After his impressive display, Aleña spoke to the media.

“I’m very happy to return to the field. We played a great game and we took advantage of our chances.”

Carles Aleña | Post-match press conference

Aleña ended his ordeal with a near-Man of the Match performance away to the Ukrainians. The Spanish youngster was his team’s metronome and misplaced one solitary pass. His pass map is a joy to behold and the midfielder deserves a lot of recognition for that display.

At the beginning of the year, Ronald Koeman did not fancy Aleña at all. He and Riqui Puig were ostracised, but the two of them showed a lot of resilience against Kyiv. Hopefully, their coach opens his eyes.

“Playing with the first team requires a lot of hard work.”

Carles Aleña | Post-match press conference

We will have to wait and see whether Koeman is on the same page with the fans regarding Aleña’s performance. One thing is clear: the 22-year-old can play a crucial role in the team if used correctly.

As a Lebanese teenager who never had the chance to support their local team, I fell in love with the club that was FC Barcelona at the start of the decade. I always was passionate about writing and this is exactly what I am looking for: sharing my insights and opinions on football.

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Gerard Pique appoints Eder Sarabia as head coach for his team Andorra

Udhav Arora

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Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images

In an interesting turn of events, Barcelona centre-back Gerard Pique has appointed Eder Sarabia as head coach for his team Andorra. Sarabia served as Quique Setien’s assistant during the Spaniard’s six-month tenure at Barcelona ranging from January to August before the coaching staff was sacked for a humiliating exit at the hands of Bayern Munich.

Pique’s Kosmos Holding Group bought Andorra, who operated in the Tercera Division – the Spain’s fourth tier, in December 2018. After raising enough funds, and going on a 22 match unbeaten run, Andorra replaced CF Reus in the Segunda Division B.

After the dismissal of Gabri Garcia following a poor run of form, Nacho Castro was appointed as the head coach. After nearly a year in-charge, on January 18, Andorra announced through a press release that Castro would not be continuing at the club. Three hours later, Eder Sarabia was appointed.

This appointment has come as a surprise to Barcelona fans considering Sarabia’s controversial tenure with the club. The Spaniard had been on the end of several heated discussion with club captain Lionel Messi, with videos releasing of the assistant shouting and cursing at the players during a game against Celta Vigo last season.

Andorra currently sit second in Group III-A of the Segunda Division B, three points clear of Barcelona B. The two are set to meet on 7th February in Round 15 of the third division. The Encamp outfit won the last meeting, held in November 2020, between the two with a goal from Carlos Martinez Rodriguez enough to scrape a 1-0 win through.

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