Barcelona have already secured their advance to the knockout stages of the Champions League. However, they still don’t know whether they’ll top the group of finish second in the end. Of course, tonight, they have a chance to settle that matter and proceed to the next phase as the number one team.
The papers this morning are focusing on the game, and also on Real Madrid’s loss yesterday evening. SPORT are saying the Catalans will try and win the group without Lionel Messi in tow as the Argentine is being rested once again.
Of course, it is in the nature of the club to try and win every single game possible but with some of the key players missing from the squad, this could be a real test. Seeing how they’ve already secured the next stage of the competition, there’s no need to risk it all anymore.
Mundo Deportivo are saying the exact same thing – we can expect rotations tonight against Ferencváros as Ronald Koeman makes a couple of big changes.
Of course, the outlet also had to touch upon Real Madrid’s 2-0 defeat over in Ukraine against Shakhtar Donetsk but there are snippets on Barcelona on the cover as well.
Apart from Messi, Philippe Coutinho and Marc-André ter Stegen have also been given a day off and will be rested for the return of La Liga on the weekend.
Ousmane Dembélé talks Tuchel, Messi, Eto’o, Laporta
In an interview with BeIN Sports, Ousmane Dembele spilled beans on various topics ranging from football to personal life. The interview was conducted before yesterday’s Clásico.
The French winger is reportedly a player who the new president, Joan Laporta, admires a lot. Even during his campaign, the Catalan lawyer raised the issue of Dembele’s renewal. The club has invested heavily in Dembele and has finally started to reap results.
When asked the question about his contract renewal, Dembele explained: “My future? I still have a year left on my contract. There have been no discussions with the club, I’m happy and I feel good.
“A new president has arrived and I don’t really know him, but he is very close to the players. We’ll see how it goes.”
In all the reports that have come out and interviews given by the young players, all of them have mentioned that the club captain, Lionel Messi shares an exceptional with this new generation of players.
On the same lines the World Cup winner said: “Messi gives confidence to the young players in the team and helps us a lot. He gives me advice.”
Dembele is said to be liking his new role up top in the newly found 3-5-2 system by Koeman. He jokingly said in the interview that the dressing room now relates him to Samuel Eto’o, a former Barça legend: “As I now play up top, they call me Samuel Eto’o in the dressing room.”
The Barça winger had an excellent season at Dortmund which led to multiple European giants going into a bidding war for him.
His strike partner during his days in Germany was Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, whom the Frenchman regarded as `his favorite teammate’. He also said that `Thomas Tuchel is his favorite coach’.