Hello Barcelona fans!
With the La Liga season underway and the transfer window deadline looming in Spain (August 31), there is no shortage of news coming out from the Camp Nou.
9:12pm – Vidal sets sights on Champions League
Arturo Vidal has yet to win the Champions League in his career, and European club football’s biggest trophy is the target for this season, the new Barcelona man says.
The Chilean was on the losing side during Barca’s last triumph in Europe, when they beat Vidal’s Juventus in the 2015 final, and the midfielder was subsequently knocked out with Bayern Munich by Real Madrid in each of the last two seasons.
Vidal says this season is about finally winning the famous trophy – read more here.
2pm – Messi’s Argentina future still unclear
The Barcelona icon, who is set to miss La Albiceleste’s next four friendly matches, is waiting to see what lies in store for the national team moving forward following a turbulent World Cup campaign.
Read more, here.
The Chilean was on the losing side when Barcelona beat Juventus in the 2015 final, but it’s his losses with Bayern to Real Madrid the last two seasons that truly rankle.
Bayern lost in the quarter-finals in 2016-17, and in the semi-finals last year, and on both occasions there was an element of controversy, with the Bundesliga giants feeling that key refereeing decisions went against them.
“My favourite title is the Champions League,” Vidal told Mundo Deportivo.
“I know Barcelona have won it on other occasions but I want to win it now – I want to win it all.”
The midfielder added: “With VAR, Bayern would have two more Champions Leagues.”
It’s the latest setback in what has been an injury-riddled career for the Spaniard, who spent last season on loan at Las Palmas, a spell that was marked by injuries again.
Samper also missed the Blaugrana’s pre-season tour of the US last month due to injury.
Wednesday’s news comes with a degree of concern as Samper has previously required surgery on the same ankle.
This is a critical season for 23-year-old midfielder Samper, who has long been touted as the next academy product to make the step up at the Camp Nou. With his injury history, and with Barcelona having plenty of options in midfield already, his future at the club will come under increasing scrutiny.