Barcelona host Napoli in Champions League round of 16 amid internal tensions

Pic Courtesy : Zimbio

Barcelona: The internal turmoils in Barcelona are at its height. Things are no more peaceful as it was five years back when they lifted the last treble. However, Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu is more concerned about the Champions League clash when the Catalan giants host Napoli on Sunday.

In an interview with the beINSPORTS, the club chief has mentioned his concerns about the team. He has mentioned that players like Marc Andre Ter Stegen, Ansu Fati, Ricki Puig are the future prospect of the new generation Barcelona side and the club will not sell them. He also mentioned that the team is working hard in the training for the champions league clash against a strong Napoli side. He has also said that Napoli is a strong side with a potential to win trophies so it won’t be easy against them at home.

Before the COVID-19 crisis, Barca drew 1-1 against Napoli at Naples. For Barcelona, the major concern are the players like Arturo Vidal and Sergio Busquets who are out for card issues. In that case, Barcelona have to depend on youngsters like Puig and Frankie De Jong to fill the place. Ivan Rakitic had a very shaky season so it will be important to see how the midfield combines against the pacy attackers of Napoli.

The defence is also a matter of concern as Barcelona have conceded goals in important matches. They have conceded 38 goals — most among the top 4 teams in La Liga this season. Gerad Pique is having age issues and failing against pacy opponents. Jordi Alba is having issues of overlapping. Sergio Roberto and Nelson Semedo are not up to the mark. Only Clement Lenglet and goalkeeper  Ter Stegen had a good season, to be honest. So the concern stays, against players like Politiano, Insigne, Mertens.

Lionel Messi is still the most important man in this squad. But the Argentine had concerns with the board and hasn’t signed up for a new contract which is expiring next season. Players like Luis Suarez and Antoine Griezmann had an average season, and that is to be taken care of because the team is getting more and more dependent on Messi.

Messi has scored 25 goals in La Liga with 20 assists this season. But his relationship with the manager is not making the team a happy family. Even constant failed transfers made the little magician frustrated with the boards.