According to a report published from Mundo Deportivo, Lionel Messi and Ronald Araujo did not attend the training session today morning ahead of Barcelona’s clash with Real Sociedad. The club is yet to provide with an explanation to explain why.
Araujo picked up an injury to his right hamstring ahead of the game against Granada, during the pre-game warm-up, which ruled him out from the tie. Samuel Umtiti came in to replace the Uruguayan, and quite successfully so. It was reported that Araujo will miss the Spanish Super Cup Semi-Finals against Sociedad, but made it to the squad list for the fixture, with both him and Ronald Koeman confirming that the player feels fine.
On the other hand, Messi was substituted off against Granda post the fourth goal that Barcelona scored. Earlier suspected to be rest, several conflicting reports were released that the six-time Ballon d’Or winner had picked up some discomfort in his leg.
As an update to the story, published by SER, Araujo reportedly arrived late to training, but Messi is still missing from the camp. Nature of the absence is unclear at this point, but if it does indeed revolve around an injury, it might be wise to rest the Argentine to focus on La Liga.
Koeman talks de Jong, Puig, and the comeback following win vs Rayo Vallecano
Barcelona’s mentality has been questioned an awful lot since the loss against AS Roma, where the team fell to defeat against a team that was more mentally prepared. Throughout the course of the season, their inability to come from behind and win games has come to the pedestal, but not yesterday. After Rayo Vallecano took the lead in the 63rd minute to give Barça scares, the Blaugranas did not stop, coming from behind to win 2-1, cruising through to the Copa del Rey Quarter-Finals.
Naturally, Ronald Koeman was very impressed with his team, and praised the men highly in his post-game press conference.
On the outcome: “I think we played well. We played our game despite the fact that the opponent did played well and put pressure on us. After they scored we came back with quality, and we were able to score more goals. We have qualified and that is the most important thing.”
On finally going back to the Camp Nou at the weekend: “It has been a very tough month with many away games. We have to try to continue like this, going game by game.”
On de Jong’s bizarre scoring form: “De Jong is playing in a more offensive position, and we need him. He is able to flood the box and score.”
On comparing this FdJ to Ajax’s: “The version we are seeing of De Jong’s is more complete than the one we saw at Ajax.”
On the comeback: “I’m very happy with the mentality that the team has shown. We will fight for everything, it’s a great mentality.”
On Puig and the substitution: “Puig did well, especially when playing through the lines. We made substitutions to freshen things up.”