After a challenging start to the season, Barcelona appear to be picking up form as they've managed to string together a few wins, with the most recent one coming away at Granada. Lionel Messi and Antoine Griezmann bagged braces as the Blaugrana ran riot over Granada, winning by a scoreline of 4-0. They now sit just three points behind arch-rivals Real Madrid and four behind Atletico Madrid, although the latter have three games in hand.
Ahead of their upcoming game in the Supercopa de Espana, here, we take a look at some of the latest Barcelona news.
Ronald Koeman discusses Riqui Puig future
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman has reiterated that he does not have anything against Riqui Puig. There have been several reports since the start of the campaign that suggested that the Dutchman does not see him as part of the club's future and that Puig was called a 'leak' before the whole Barcelona squad in the dressing room.
On the back of Puig's second-half appearance against Granada, Koeman was asked once again regarding Puig's situation at the club. The manager said;
"People seem to believe I have something against Riqui. I can assure you that I have nothing against him. There are many young players Like Matheus [Fernandes] and Konrad [de la Fuente] who haven’t played a lot yet. I have no problem with Riqui."
The former Valencia manager did not want to go further into the topic about the Spaniard's future, saying;
"His future? He has to decide."
Puig has appeared just six times for the Catalan giants this year, coming off the bench on all occasions.
Barcelona's statement on Ronald Araujo injury
Barcelona defender Ronald Araujo picked up an injury during the warm-up ahead of their 4-0 rout of Granada, due to which he was forced to miss the game despite being in the initial starting XI. French World Cup winner Samuel Umtiti stepped in for the Uruguayan, but the injury to Araujo, who has grown into a dependable figure for Barcelona this season, will surely be a matter of concern.
However, the injury is not likely to keep him out of action for too long as Barcelona confirmed that it was a hamstring strain. Their statement read;
"Tests carried out this morning have shown that @RonaldAraujo939 has a right hamstring strain. His recovery will determine his availability for the coming training sessions."
Araujo is likely to miss their upcoming cup tie against Real Sociedad. However, they will be boosted by the return of Clement Lenglet from his suspension, and will have the likes of Oscar Mingueza to call upon as well.
Leo Messi surpasses Cristiano Ronaldo with stunning goal
Barcelona captain Leo Messi's second goal against Granada came from an ingenious free-kick, his first in 2021, with the last such goal being scored late in 2019 against Celta Vigo. Messi scored two of them in one game against Iago Aspas and co.
The goal was all the more special considering that it was his 48th free-kick during what has been a spectacular club career, which helps him go past Cristiano Ronaldo's club career tally of 47.
The sublime under-the-wall finish also fired him back to the top of the LaLiga scoring charts with 11 goals to his name in 2021.
Published 10 Jan 2021, 20:32 IST