Though the Spanish La Liga 2020-2021 season has kicked off, FC Barcelona are among the top clubs in Spain that are yet to commence their campaign because of their engagements in the continent. The club still has less than two weeks to continue with their preparation for the new season.
Since the arrival of a new manager, Ronald Koeman, the club has played two friendly matches. The first was against Gimnastic which ended 3-1 in favor of Barcelona. They played their second friendly match against Girona on Wednesday which ended 3-1 again in favor of the Spanish giants.
In the first friendly match which took place on September 12, the fans of the club waited to see whether the club’s talisman, Lionel Messi would feature in the match. Fortunately for them, they had their captain in the heart of the match.
Expectedly, the 33-year-old Argentina international who shook every fabric of the club when he said he wanted to leave, was also on the pitch to light up the second friendly match.
“We are looking in good shape, the players played 60 minutes today and many will play 90 on Saturday so they are ready for the start of the season,” Koeman said after their friendly match against Girona on Wednesday.
“I’m happy with how we played today, with lots of build-up play from the back. It was a good display overall and when the season starts we’ll be at 100 percent.”
Lionel Messi returned with a Brace
After a very heated contract tussle between Messi and Barcelona, the 6 times Ballon d’Or winner seemed settled at the club. He showed how settled he has become on Wednesday when Barcelona played against Girona.
The 33-year-old forward scored two goals in the club’s 3-1 win to announce to Barcelona’s fans that he still remains their talisman and the club’s leader despite the tension between him and the club in the past couple of weeks.
Luis Suarez case is not settled
Luis Suarez is yet to know his fate at FC Barcelona. The management of the club told him to look for another club and he is yet to find anything concrete.
A sign that the Uruguay forward is in the dark at the club showed up on Wednesday when he was not featured in the club’s friendly match against Girona. But Ronald Koeman said if Suarez failed to find another club, he would not be treated differently from other players at the club.
“I’ve spoken to him about his future and we are waiting to see whether or not he leaves, we still don’t know,” Koeman told Catalan network TV3 after the win over Girona.
“But we respect every contract here and if in the end he does not find a club and he stays, he will be just like any other player in the squad.”
Philippe Coutinho is back for Barcelona
Philippe Coutinho was almost an unwanted piece at FC Barcelona before he was sent on loan to Bayern Munich. Fortunately for the player, he was able to prove himself to the extent that his goals were counted among the goals that won Bayern the 2019-2020 UEFA Champions League title.
Since he returned to Barcelona this summer, Ronald Koeman has shown a huge interest in him as he has used him in their last two friendly matches. In the two matches, Coutinho took advantage of the opportunity by scoring a goal each.
This could earn him a very prominent role in Barcelona’s team that will execute the club’s last friendly match against Elche on September 19 and subsequently, the league matches proper.
HIGHLIGHTS— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) September 16, 2020
Barça 3, Girona 1 pic.twitter.com/d6DfIArxpW
Barcelona will start their La Liga campaign on September 27 at home against Villarreal as they look forward to dethroning Real Madrid at the end of the season.