FC Barcelona are set to kickstart their Champions League campaign this midweek when they take on Royal Antwerp.
It is going to be a special game for Marc Overmars, who is currently serving as the sporting director of Royal Antwerp, as he looks to return to his former club Barcelona, this time in an executive role.
Heading into the game, Overmars has refused to throw in the towel against Barça, but more importantly, he has heaped praise on one of Barça’s key targets in the market.
Overmars heaps praise on Vermeeren
One of the players worth looking out for in this Champions League fixture is Arthur Vermeeren.
The young midfielder is coming on the back of a breakthrough season at Royal Antwerp and is regarded as one of the most talented prodigies in Belgian football right now.
Heading into this game, Overmars has praised Vermeeren for his skill, even comparing him to Barça legends like Xavi and Andres Iniesta.
“I have no doubt that he has a fantastic level. The first time I saw him he reminded me of Xavi and Iniesta, a footballer of the same profile,” Overmars said (h/t Mundo Deportivo).
Inside Barcelona’s interest in Vermeeren
Barcelona have been keeping a close eye on Vermeeren’s rapid development at Royal Antwerp, especially since the start of the season.
The young Belgian is valued at around €20 million and it remains to be seen whether or not that could be a problem for Barça.
The Catalans are expected to explore a move in the coming future, as they look to reinforce the pivot midfield position, where Oriol Romeu is the only natural option in the squad currently
Overmars praises Barcelona, Yamal
The former Barcelona midfielder also spoke highly of Barcelona youth prodigy Lamine Yamal, saying: “He is a world-class footballer. That is why Barça is a favorite.”
Highlighting the progress made by Barcelona under Xavi, he added: “Last year they won the League. They have very good young players.”
On tonight’s match between Antwerp and Barcelona, he admitted: “It will be a difficult game. Everyone knows that Barcelona are the favorite but we will fight against a strong team and it will be a good experience for our young players, who will play in the Champions League for the first time.”