Barcelona have announced the 22-man squad list that will host Real Sociedad at the Camp Nou for a delightful midweek fixture as part of the 19th gameweek. This is Barcelona’s second of three consecutive home games, which they host on the back of a narrow win against Levante on the weekend.
Ronald Koeman has excluded Junior Firpo from the team which seems to be a technical decision, as he has named 22 other players, only one of which is a left-back in the form of Jordi Alba. Ousmane Dembele is still missing after picking up an injury to his hamstring against Cadiz.
The squad list does feature four centre-backs, though, in the form of Ronald Araujo, Clement Lenglet, Oscar Mingueza, and Samuel Umtiti. Gerard Pique is out for nearly two more months and fails to make the cut.
The full squad: Ter Stegen, Neto, Inaki Pena; Dest, Araujo, Lenglet, Umtiti, Mingueza, Alba; de Jong, Busquets, Pjanic, Matheus, Puig, Alena, Coutinho, Pedri; Konrad, Messi, Griezmann, Braithwaite, Trincao
Absentees: Pique, Fati, Roberto, Firpo, Dembele
Real Sociedad deploy a very high line that can be exploited through quick runners on the wing. However, in the absence of Dembele and Ansu Fati, the team is left with just Konrad de la Fuente who can function in that role, which makes starting him utterly important. Apart from that, Riqui Puig deserves to get minutes, right off the bat, especially after failing to come on against Levante despite warming up.
David Beckham confirms Messi has been mentioned in MLS plans
During the presentation of the new Inter Miami kit, club owner and former football superstar David Beckham confirmed that he has big ambitions for his side. The Englishman has been making major headway since he founded the club, who began playing in Major League Soccer (MLS) last season.
The Miami based club unveiled their secondary jersey, named La Palma on Saturday. Beckham, during the ceremony spoke about his plans for the club, stating how important it is to attract the biggest names in football.
The former Real Madrid and Manchester United man addressed rumours about both Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo. He said: “I know that in Miami our fans want to see great stars. Messi and Ronaldo have been mentioned, have been at the top of their game and have been the best for the last 15 years. We want to attract the best players.”
Speaking about the talent he has already managed to attract, Beckham added: “We already have players like Higuaín and Matuidi who already bring shine and glamour, but in the future we want to have the opportunity to bring big name signings.”
Back when Messi asked to leave Barcelona last summer, the Argentine was linked however briefly to a move to the MLS. Inter Miami, being the most possible suitors. However, Messi ended up staying in Spain after a complicated transfer saga.
There is no doubt that with Beckham at the helm, Inter Miami could attract a ton of big names in the future. However, a move to the States would most certainly be a step sideways for Messi, considering he still has years left at the top in Europe.