Mascherano trains apart from the group after he picked up niggling issues in his calf muscles in the match against Athletic on Sunday
Barça B’s Sergi Gómez trained with the first team
FC Barcelona returned to training this Tuesday at the Ciutat Esportiva. The men managed by Tata Martino enjoyed a day off on Monday after having defeated Athletic Club on Sunday, and now they are focused on their upcoming match against Villarreal, which will be played at El Madrigal next Sunday at 9:00 PM CET. Javier Mascherano, who completed the match against Athletic with issues in his calf muscles, trained apart from the group. It’s worth noting that the player is not injured.
Puyol, Piqué, Neymar, Jonathan Dos Santos and Jordi Alba, all of whom are injured, also trained apart from the group. Barça B’s Sergi Gómez, however, trained with the first team.
The Catalan admitted that the failures in the Champions League and Spanish Cup were “principally down to the players”, but sees “an exciting future” at the Club.
Reflecting on criticism of Messi, Piqué explained: “it’s something that you don’t think could ever happen. I know that he will be here for many years because he loves the club, the city and being here”.
Gerard Piqué believes that Barça will bounce back from their disappointments this season and speaking at the presentation of the X edition of the book ‘Relats solidaris de l’esport’ he admitted: “maybe it hasn’t been our best season, but I’m sure we will end up coming back. It isn’t the first time we’ve gone through bad times and we have always bounced back “. Piqué reckons that the win over Bilbao is the first step towards better things: “we came into it on the back of a bad defeat and the team showed character and play against a strong rival .”
The Catalan defender insisted that the squad had to take the blame for some of the recent poor performances ” it is mostly down to the players – I’ve missed that feeling that we were all pulling in the same direction” [ [ CITA_1 ] ] Pique hasn’t given up on the league title though: “I think there is still hope in the league though it will be tough – this is a club that has won more than once or twice on the last day of the season”. Regardless of whether the title is won or not, Piqué is optimistic about the Club’s future: “we have an exciting future and I have great confidence in the people leading the club and the players.” [ [ CITA_2 ] ] The Catalan also referred to two teammates Leo Messi and Cesc Fabregas, explaining he couldn’t understand the criticism the Argentinean had received: “it’s something that you don’t think could happen – he’s the world number 1 and the cornerstone of this team . I think that thanks to him we have won everything we have won. In my opinion we are talking about the best player in the history of the game - I know that he will be here for many years because he loves the club, the city and being here”.
Cesc received a few whistles from some of the fans on Sunday and Piqué explained: “It isn’t good to have fans whistling you – particularly at home. I think it is a mistake to focus on just one player . Blame it on the players, OK, but not just Cesc. The season has not been good and I think we are all part of a group that haven’t quite got things right”. Piqué also reckons that Martino should also not be held solely responsible for some of the campaign’s disappointments.[[CITA_3]]Piqué, who revealed he could hardly run in his final fitness test ahead of the Spanish Cup Final, believes that the core of the team for next season is already in place: “ the planning is a job for the technical staff . We are just here to work hard and do our best. It’s clear there will be some changes, as there are every year. We are Barça and this is a very demanding Club, but I think we have a solid base, which is the homegrown players”-
We follow Barça’s number 6 as he prepares for Sunday’s win over Athletic Bilbao.
After watching Neymar Jr and Andrés Iniesta‘s pre-match preparations, we now look at how Xavi warms up for a game – specifically last Sunday’s FC Barcelona-Athletic Bilbao game at the Camp Nou.
Watch hpw Xavi gets himself ready for the game from the moemnt he arrives at the ground until he runs out on the pitch.
A collection of images from Sunday’s game at the Camp Nou
Photo gallery of the game between Barça and Bilbao.
Footage from before and after an important win at the Camp Nou
FC Barcelona beat Athletic Bilbao at the Camp Nou on Sunday night after going behind to an Aduriz goal. First Pedro and then Messi two minutes later turned the game around and kept their team in contention for the Liga title. Here’s a look behind the scenes at the game, from the players’ arrival at the Camp Nou, to the warm-up, the atmosphere in the terraces and commenting on the game once it was all over.