The problems keep piling up for Sergi Roberto, who has recently tested positive for the Coronavirus while recovering from his injury, as confirmed by Barcelona.
The defender picked up a hamstring injury against Atletico Madrid, and was ruled out for nearly two months, which left Barcelona with just Sergino Dest in the right-back slot. Owing to the same, Roberto has not trained with the group since November 21, and will have to isolate at home.
Roberto is also the first Barcelona player to test positive with the season still underway. Jean-Claire Todibo was the only other Barça player who got tested positive for the virus, but was shipped out on loan to Benfica before the season started.
Out till January, at the very least, Roberto’s recovery depends on the development on his injury, but more importantly till he gets tested negative for the Coronavirus.
Leaked conversation between Piqué and Alba on Cup final: “I don’t know if we will win”
Barcelona’s bitter El Clasico defeat to rivals Real Madrid was followed by a rather glum-sounding conversation between defenders Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique. The Deportes Cuatro cameras captured the two veterans talking about their upcoming cup final with polarizing views about their chances of winning.
Historically speaking, an El Clasico defeat is often damaging to morale, which may lead to a string of poor results. Especially in an encounter as crucial as this one, which could have handed Barcelona control of the La Liga title race, a loss is even harder to stomach.
Real Madrid and La Liga aside however, Barcelona must now turn their attention to the Copa del Rey final on Saturday against Athletic Bilbao. The Basques have already prevailed once over the Catalans in a cup final this year, beating them to the Spanish Supercup in a tight encounter.
Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique’s interaction after the Clasico however, was rather interesting. The latter seemed optimistic about Barcelona’s chances of securing their first title of the season. Alba however, was not so convinced.
“We’ll win this cup, for sure,” said Pique to Alba, to which the left-back responded: “I don’t know.”
A puzzled Pique confrontationally asked what he meant, as Alba responded: “I’m just saying, I don’t know.”
The biggest merit of Ronald Koeman in his first spell with Barcelona has been his ability to instill a winning mentality within the squad. There has been more belief that the team can fight and win under tough circumstances, which has largely been lacking in the past few years.
No matter how difficult this Clasico defeat is to swallow, the Blaugrana must put those doubts to bed before their cup final and approach it with full optimism and confidence.