Coronavirus: Barcelona stars set for medical tests on Wednesday ahead of training return

By Sports Desk May 05, 2020

Barcelona players will be given medical tests on Wednesday ahead of a possible return to individual training at the club's Ciutat Esportiva.

LaLiga teams have been granted permission to resume training this week after the Spanish government eased restrictions prohibiting outdoor exercise.

Barca's training facilities were inspected on Tuesday and the champions are now planning to carry out appropriate testing "to guarantee the players' health".

Spanish football was suspended indefinitely in March due to the coronavirus pandemic, but it is hoped the 2019-20 season can be resumed rather than brought to a close, as has happened in Netherlands and France.

The top two leagues have agreed a 'Return to Training Protocol' with Spain's ministry of health to allow players to restart individual training programmes.

The intention is for small group sessions to then be phased in as part of a gradual build-up towards a possible restart of LaLiga in June.

Barca were two points clear of Real Madrid at the top of the table with 11 matches left to play when the competition was suspended.

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  • Barca must recover identity following Champions League horror show – Setien Barca must recover identity following Champions League horror show – Setien

    Quique Setien said Barcelona must recover their identity after suffering a humiliating 8-2 defeat to Bayern Munich in the Champions League as the embattled head coach heads towards the exit door.

    Barca conceded eight goals in a game for the first time since 1946 as the LaLiga giants crashed to an embarrassing quarter-final loss in Lisbon on Friday.

    Lionel Messi's Barca, who trailed 4-1 at half-time, plunged into crisis, having already been dethroned by bitter rivals Real Madrid in LaLiga this term.

    Barca defender Gerard Pique called for "changes at all levels" after Barca lost in the quarter-finals of the Champions League for the fourth time in five seasons.

    With Setien – who only replaced Ernesto Valverde in January – reportedly set to be sacked, the former Real Betis boss said: "Pique is a footballer who has been here all his life and I have only been here for six or eight months, the reflection that he has made makes sense but I am not the best person to talk about this.

    "Barcelona must recover its identity and overcome this, and I do not know if many or few but it must change things. This reflection made by a player who has been here all his life indicates something clearly."

    "Right now there is no constructive message that can serve, the reality is that we are all deeply frustrated," added Setien.

    "This is extremely painful for the fans, and for us who are professionals it also hurts a lot but we have to assimilate it. We must think that the future will be better and we will have to recover this image that we have left today."

  • Bayern's Neuer saddened to see German rival Ter Stegen concede eight goals Bayern's Neuer saddened to see German rival Ter Stegen concede eight goals

    Bayern Munich goalkeeper Manuel Neuer said he was saddened to see German rival and Barcelona counterpart Marc-Andre ter Stegen concede eight goals in Friday's Champions League quarter-final humiliation.

    Bayern embarrassed LaLiga giants Barca 8-2 in Lisbon, where Neuer's team-mates became the first team in Champions League history to score eight goals in a knockout match.

    Thomas Muller and Philippe Coutinho braces, and goals from Robert Lewandowski, Ivan Perisic, Serge Gnabry and Joshua Kimmich saw Barca concede eight goals in a game for the first time since 1946.

    Neuer – Germany's number one keeper – spared a thought for countryman Ter Stegen post-match.

    "I'm a little sorry for Marc-Andre Ter Stegen that he conceded so many goals," said Neuer.

    "It's good for us, of course, but you wouldn't wish that to any team-mate from the national team."

    On the match itself, Neuer said: "You could see that we didn't let up a minute and that we always wanted to keep playing forward. Of course, Barca are also strong offensively.

    "We know that goals can come. We tried to play on Barca goal until the very end. Accordingly, we were also successful."

    Bayern star Thiago Alcantara produced an impressive performance against former side Barca.

    Thiago – tipped to join Premier League champions Liverpool – won two LaLiga titles and the Champions League among other honours before leaving Barca for Bayern in 2013.

    "For respect for my friends, the club I've been to and my colleagues, I think they are a great club and that they will turn around any situation that comes their way," the Spaniard said.

    Manchester City or Lyon await Bayern in the semis and Thiago added: "This result gives us more confidence, more against a team like Barca, but we know that it was only to go to the next round and we have not won anything, we have played as if it were a final only to go to semi, nothing more."

  • De Jong: Barcelona have a lot of problems after Champions League mauling De Jong: Barcelona have a lot of problems after Champions League mauling

    Frenkie de Jong said Barcelona's embarrassing 8-2 Champions League loss to Bayern Munich showed the beleaguered LaLiga giants have a lot of problems.

    Barca conceded eight goals in a game for the first time since 1946 as the Spanish powerhouse were mercilessly put to the sword by Bundesliga champions Bayern in Lisbon on Friday.

    Bayern raced out to a 4-1 lead at half-time and they did not take their foot off the pedal following the interval – Barca eliminated in the Champions League quarter-finals for the fourth time in five seasons.

    With Barca in crisis after the result and head coach Quique Setien reportedly set to be sacked, star midfielder De Jong addressed the result.

    "I think today showed that we have a lot of problems in the team," De Jong, in his first season at Camp Nou following his high-profile arrival from Ajax, said. "I think tonight showed that and we know we have to make a lot of changes.

    "It's difficult for the fans to take too so sorry to them. We have to change a lot of things I think.

    "We believed we could beat Bayern. The first 15-20 minutes because they scored early but we scored the equaliser and had two good chances so believed in it of course. You could see that at the beginning.

    "But they were much better than us. I don't think it's too much about talent, I think it's about putting in intensity and hard work and we need to change these things.

    "Of course it's a big disappointment but not only for me, for the whole club because this club is used to winning trophies. It's the biggest club in the world so we have to perform a lot better than we did tonight."

    Asked if anyone can stop Bayern – who will face either Manchester City or Lyon in the semis – Netherlands international De Jong replied: "I think City are also a really good team. Lyon are good.

    "But...I don't care too much at this moment. I'm sorry but they were really good tonight and deserved to win of course."

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