Live Barcelona Blog: PSG exploring possibility of tempting Ivan Rakitic away from Barcelona

Matt Jones 20/08/2018
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Hola Barcelona fans. The Sport360 team are here to bring you the latest news from the Camp Nou on Monday.

Whether it’s fallout from beating Alaves 3-0 to get their La Liga defence off to a winning start on Saturday night, Lionel Messi gossip or in-depth features, you can be sure we’ve got you covered.

As ever, get in touch with us throughout the day on Twitter and Facebook.

1:57pm – PSG exploring possibility of tempting Ivan Rakitic away from Barcelona

Ivan Rakitic

PSG are exploring the option of signing Ivan Rakitic from Barcelona, reports Spanish publication Sport.

The Croatian World Cup star is pivotal to the Blaugrana engine room but given the arrivals of Arturo Vidal and Arthur, there is no guarantee that he will get consistent game time this season.

Read more about Rakitic here.

1:14pm – Camp Nou pitch in its worst condition for years

camp-nou

They’ve only just played the first game of the season at their home ground, but there are murmurs emerging from the Barcelona dressing room that the players are far from happy with the condition of the Camp Nou pitch.

Read more here.

10:59am – “We’ll never see another like him” – Jordi Alba praises Lionel Messi

Lionel Messi gestures

Football will never see another player like Lionel Messi, says the iconic Argentine’s Barcelona team-mate Jordi Alba.

Left-back Alba paid tribute to Messi post-match after the Blaugrana got their La Liga title defence off to a fine start, overcoming Alaves 3-0 at the Camp Nou on Saturday night.

Read more on what Alba and others had to say on their team-mate here.

9:52am – Barcelona had €294 million on the bench against Alaves

Barcelona-Transfer-News

They’re a club that are used to breaking records, and Barcelona broke another one in their opening fixture of the 2018/19 La Liga season on Saturday night – assembling their most expensive substitute’s bench ever.

Read more here.

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Barcelona players believe Camp Nou pitch is in its worst state in years

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They’ve only just played the first game of the season at their home ground, but there are murmurs emerging from the Barcelona dressing room that the players are far from happy with the condition of the Camp Nou pitch.

Despite getting three points in an eventually convincing 3-0 win over Alaves in their La Liga opener on home soil on Saturday, it wasn’t an easy match for Barca who had to wait until the 64th minute for a breakthrough.

And it’s come to light that the team and coaching staff are particularly unhappy about the state of the Camp Nou pitch.

Many areas have bald spots where the sand is visible, and given the nature of Barcelona’s precision passing game, having an untidy playing surface is simply not acceptable.

A discussion in the dressing room claims the pitch hasn’t been in this poor a state for years, and the most surprising thing is that it’s happened on the first day of league season after the pitch had not been in use for almost three months during the summer.

The Camp Nou pitch is accustomed to having two games a week played on it. And while the heat in Barcelona of late has been a factor, it shouldn’t really be an excuse.

There are another 15 days before the next home game against Huesca and there should be time before then for the club’s groundstaff to work on improving the turf.

After that, there’ll be no games played on it for 20 days due to the international break.

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"We’ll never see another like him" - Jordi Alba praises Barcelona icon Lionel Messi

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Football will never see another player like Lionel Messi, says the iconic Argentine’s Barcelona team-mate Jordi Alba.

Left-back Alba paid tribute to Messi post-match after the Blaugrana got their La Liga title defence off to a fine start, overcoming Alaves 3-0 at the Camp Nou on Saturday night.

And Alba claims no player will ever replicate the 31-year-old’s feats.

“Leo makes the difference all the time,” said Alba.

“He hits perfection every year. We’ll never see another like him.”

Messi has firmly established his status as one of the game’s all-time greats, having won five Ballon d’Or awards.

Ernesto Valverde’s side found it tough to break down the visitors on Saturday, although two moments of Messi magic helped seal a 3-0 win.

Messi put a free-kick under the wall in the 64th minute to give Barca the advantage, before slotting home in injury time after Philippe Coutinho had extended the lead.

Alba was not alone in hailing Messi, who’s opener was Barcelona’s 6,000th La Liga goal.

Sergio Busquets said: “It was quite hard, until Messi appeared with his work of art.”

Sergi Roberto quipped: “Leo is still up to his tricks.”

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