Barcelona has received a major blow as their star playmaker Andres Iniesta has been ruled out for coming two games due to a thigh injury. The Spaniard has always been a vital player for Barcelona thus his absence is definitely going to trouble the Catalan side.
Injury woes for Barcelona
The Barcelona captain suffered a thigh injury during the training session and has not trained after that.
Sport’s Javier Miguel issued a statement on behalf of Barcelona saying,
“Andres Iniesta has pulled the gracilis muscle in the right thigh [and] will have to miss this weekend’s game at Athletic Club.”
Iniesta who recently signed a lifetime contract with Barcelona showed concern over his age and fitness during a press conference saying,
Barcelona midfielder and captain Andres Iniesta signs a "lifetime contract" with the club.
— BBC Sport (@BBCSport) October 6, 2017
“I will not be here forever just to play two games a year,I will be the first to know when this is over. I don’t want to be here for the sake of being here.
I want to be here because I’m important; because I am relevant to the club, the team and my teammates.”
“Last season I was six months younger and it looked like I might have been finished,” he continued. “Now, this season, I’m older and things are going well, it’s like I have been reborn. I will follow my body and my head because they will know better than anyone else when it’s time [to retire] but it’s not something I’m thinking about.”
“I want to extend my career for as long as I can,” he said. “It’s true that time is against me and I am closer to hanging up my boots, but one thing I have clear is that I will be involved in football, I don’t know how, but I will be related to football. It’s my life. It’s where I feel comfortable.”
Along with Iniesta, Mascherano and Vermaelen too missed the training on Friday due to fever and hip injury respectively thus adding much to Valverde’s worries.
Mascherano with a fever, Iniesta with a thigh problem and Vermaelen with a hip problem do not train today #FCBlive
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 27, 2017
Paulinho is believed to be the frontrunner to replace Iniesta against the Athletic Club on Saturday night. Barcelona is yet to lose a game this season thus every player needs to step up to hide the absence of Iniesta and continue Barcelona’s perfect run.
The injury of Andres Iniesta is surely a big blow for Catalan side who are enjoying a string of success so far. But with likes of Paulinho, Andre Gome, and Denis Suarez on the bench Valverde has plenty of options to replace the Spaniard for the two games. Iniesta scored a goal in the previous match and many believed that his form is back, but this injury comes as a blow for both the club and the player. Now it would be interesting who Barcelona start with at the midfield in the veteran’s absence for the vital games.