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Messi, Coutinho, and ter Stegen are not training today

Udhav Arora

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Photo via Imago

According to the very reliable Alfredo Martinez, Lionel Messi, Philippe Coutinho and Marc-Andre Ter Stegen are not training with the team today, and everything indicates at them to miss the UEFA Champions League encounter against Ferencvaros on Wednesday night.

Ronald Koeman is making good use of his squad depth and has constantly rested Messi to get the best out of him in necessary encounters. The Argentine was not called up against Dynamo Kyiv either and went on to drop a 10/10 against Osasuna on the weekend. Not to mention, the team did rather well in his absence as well, scoring four unanswered goals against Kyiv.

Moreover, Barcelona are in a favourable position in the Champions League, having won all four of their games so far, scoring 13 goals and conceding just two. The team proved that it is more than capable to make-do without Messi in the team, especially now that Antoine Griezmann seems to have taken more creative duties in the attack.

As for the goalkeeper, Neto filled in for ter Stegen during the initial part of the season, and did not disappoint an awful lot barring a horrendous mistake against Deportivo Alaves. Rest assured, Culés can feel safe with the Brazilian holding the fort for the Blaugranas.

We can expect Pedri, Ousmane Dembele, Fransisco Trincao, Griezmann, and Martin Braithwaite to take over the mantel from Messi and Coutinho, and deliver yet again.

Editor-in-Chief. | I have devoted my life to two arts — photography and writing. They say a picture says a thousand words, but my idea is to click it and then write a thousand words about it myself.

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Laporta responds to PSG’s interest in Messi: “They should stop talking”

Domagoj Kostanjšak

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Photo by CRISTINA QUICLER/AFP via Getty Images

The elections are just around the corner but without a functioning president at the helm of the club, Barcelona are unable to do any business on the market. Of course, they could if they wanted to as there is an interim for the time being.

However, any big moves need the ‘blessing’ of the new board and momentarily, that is simply not possible. Still, that hasn’t stopped other clubs from flirting with the Catalans’ stars, even name-dropping some players as part of their recruitment plans.

This, of course, is true of Paris Saint-Germain as the French titans still dream of scooping up Lionel Messi in the summer once his contract officially runs out. But according to Joan Laporta, one of the favourites to win the presidential race, that is highly disrespectful talk since Leo is still very much a Barcelona player.

Speaking to Fox Sports, Laporta responded to the Parisien by stating: “Paris should stop talking about Messi, but unfortunately there is no president to respond to this absolute lack of respect.”

It is true that clubs should not discuss players and player acquisition unless the business has officially been concluded or at the very least, is in advanced stages of negotiations. This way, PSG are directly offending the other party by speaking of their player in such a manner and so publicly.

Be that as it may, we still have no idea whether Messi will indeed leave the Camp Nou once the summer transfer window opens and electing a new president soon could play a huge part in that matter.

By taking such strong stances and defending the club, Laporta is surely winning the hearts of the fans and the socis alike.

Will it be enough to secure him another tenure at the top? We’ll have to wait and see.

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