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Barcelona News Roundup: Marco Verratti wanted to join Barca, Jordi Alba discusses Lionel Messi's future and more - 16 February 2021

Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman
Barcelona manager Ronald Koeman
Shambhu Ajith
FEATURED WRITER
Modified 16 Feb 2021
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Barcelona has always been a dream destination for some of the best footballers in the world.

Barcelona have a high-profile encounter coming up tonight against Paris Saint-Germain. They host the Parisiens at the Camp Nou and will be hoping to come away with a positive result in the first leg of the Round of 16 tie.

Without further ado, let's take a look at the top stories involving Barcelona from 16 February 2021.


Barcelona name Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo in squad for PSG match

FC Barcelona v Gimnastic de Tarragona - Pre-Season Friendly
FC Barcelona v Gimnastic de Tarragona - Pre-Season Friendly

Gerard Pique and Ronald Araujo could feature in the UEFA Champions League game against Paris Saint-Germain tonight. The duo have been named in the squad that will take on Paris Saint-Germain at the Camp Nou.

Pique has been out of the squad since picking up an injury in the La Liga match against Atletico Madrid in November. He sustained a sprain in his right knee and there was partial damage to his anterior cruciate ligament.

Jordi Alba says Lionel Messi is 100% committed to Barcelona

FC Barcelona v Deportivo Alavés - La Liga Santander
FC Barcelona v Deportivo Alavés - La Liga Santander
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Barcelona left-back Jordi Alba has been playing with Lionel Messi for a very long time. Speaking to the media ahead of Barcelona's UEFA Champions League clash, Jordi Alba has revealed that Lionel Messi remains committed to the Barcelona project despite the constant rumours linking him with an exit.

Alba said:

"Even if I had my future clear in my mind, I wouldn't reveal my plans yet. For now, he is 100 percent committed to Barcelona. With him, we're better and stronger and I hope he stays here for many more years. But, it's his decision and that needs to be respected."
"Right now, he is focused on Barcelona. You can see that in every match. He'll decide at the end of the season. We don't pay attention to what other players or clubs are saying right now. Many people talk, but he'll have the final word and he'll have thought long and hard about his decision. He'll do what he thinks is best."

Agent confirms Marco Verratti wanted to join Barcelona

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Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain: Group H - UEFA Champions League
Manchester United v Paris Saint-Germain: Group H - UEFA Champions League

Marco Verratti wanted to join Barcelona, according to his former agent Donato Di Campli. Verratti has been crucial to Paris Saint-Germain's success over the past decade but he came close to joining the Catalans in the summer of 2021.

Donato Di Campli told L'Equipe:

"When Barca contacted me, I asked Marco what we're doing. He told me to talk with them, and that we would also talk with PSG since an extension was in the pipeline. PSG were not great at the time, so I said to Marco: 'Are we going or are we staying?'
"He said, 'OK, let's try another experiment. Marco really wanted to go to Barcelona. He texted Nasser [Al-Khelaifi] to tell him, I kept it.
"They were offering a lot of money, but it wasn't even that. Playing with Messi, becoming a champion, which is a different thing to being a great player. PSG are one of the biggest clubs in the world, but they play in a weak league. I told Marco that if he wanted to become a champion, he had to change tune."
Published 16 Feb 2021, 19:34 IST
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