Lionel Messi will miss a second successive Champions League match after Ronald Koeman took the opportunity to rest him once again.

Messi's absence is not an issue Barca have often had to deal with down the years in the Champions League, particularly in recent times – the 4-0 win over Dynamo Kiev last time out was only the fourth in 43 matches in the competition that he has not featured in.

Nevertheless, one would expect Barca to have enough firepower to see off their hosts on Wednesday and they are undefeated in their previous nine Champions League games without Messi since a 2-1 loss to Ajax in November 2013.

Barca crushed the Hungarian champions 5-1 at Camp Nou in October and are already assured of a place in the next round having won all of their first four matches in Group G.

As such, Koeman wants to take every opportunity to rest his star man in what is proving a hectic season.

"I understand that it is not normal, but in the calendar this season there were two moments for Leo Messi to rest, Kiev and tomorrow, because we are already qualified," Koeman told reporters on Tuesday.

"It allows me to give opportunities to other players and the Saturday games in the league are very important. From tomorrow there is no more [chance] to rest him.

"Leo is always Leo. He is very important in our attack. When the ball reaches him, it may be that at the beginning of the season it has cost him a little [in terms of fatigue]. He may not score 30 goals per season, but he is working well and it is very important in our attack.

"He always likes to play and it's good that he has this mentality, but I spoke with him and asked him, but the final decision is up to the coach.

"I wanted to give him rest in Kiev and tomorrow. For the rest of the season he may not get any more rest because we play every three days."

Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Philippe Coutinho are two others who have been afforded a rest and left out of the travelling party.

Messi is expected to return for Barca's final group match next week against Juventus and long-time rival Cristiano Ronaldo.

Lionel Messi paid tribute to Diego Maradona on Sunday with a goal celebration that came as a "beautiful surprise" to his Barcelona team-mates.

Former Barca and Argentina great Maradona died on Wednesday at the age of 60 and has been honoured before all LaLiga matches over the weekend.

Messi scored his side's fourth goal in the 4-0 win over Osasuna and afterwards removed his Barca shirt to reveal a Newell's Old Boys jersey emblazoned with Maradona's famous number 10.

He then pointedly saluted the sky in honour of his compatriot, who spent a season at Newell's - the club where Messi began his youth career.

Antoine Griezmann and Philippe Coutinho each got a goal in Barca's comfortable victory, along with striker Martin Braithwaite, who opened the scoring in the first half.

They described afterwards how they were not aware of what Messi was planning on a moving day at Camp Nou, where Maradona played from 1982 to 1984.

"We lost Maradona, a global idol, we all miss him," Coutinho said.

"We didn't know what Messi had prepared to honour Maradona," added Griezmann. "It was a beautiful surprise."

Newell's responded through their English Twitter account, saying: "It's all about number 10. The best player in the world and his tribute to #D10S."

Barca's victory moved them into eighth in the table, for a few hours at least, nine points behind leaders Real Sociedad and Atletico Madrid in second.

Lautaro Martinez's future continues to dominate headlines.

Martinez was tipped to leave Inter for Barcelona at the start of the season, but a move did not materialise amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Now, Manchester City are emerging as a serious suitor.

 

TOP STORY – CITY WANT LAUTARO

Manchester City are continuing their pursuit of Inter star Lautaro Martinez, according to the Mirror.

Martinez has been heavily linked with LaLiga giants Barcelona, as well as Real Madrid and City, where Pep Guardiola is eyeing a long-term replacement for Sergio Aguero.

The Argentina international has made his demands clear to Inter, who are hoping to re-sign Martinez.

 

ROUND-UP

Barca are open to the idea of selling Ousmane Dembele, says Mundo Deportivo. Dembele was wanted by Manchester United prior to the previous transfer window closing and Barca are reportedly aware of contacts between the France international and the Premier League side.

Arsenal are ready to part with club-record signing Nicolas Pepe, reports the Daily Star. Unconvinced about the Ivory Coast international, the Gunners are even reportedly open to a loan move amid links to Milan.

- The Sun claims Leeds United want Sevilla boss Julen Lopetegui once fan favourite Marcelo Bielsa leaves Elland Road.

- The Mirror claims United want to sign former defender Jonny Evans from Leicester City. Evans – who won three Premier League titles at Old Trafford – left United for West Brom in 2015 before joining Leicester in 2018.

- Barca have offered Philippe Coutinho to Juventus, according to Calciomercato. Barca need to raise funds as they look to recruit Lyon captain Memphis Depay and City defender Eric Garcia.

Lionel Messi has every right to be "p****d off" at being questioned over his relationship with Antoine Griezmann, according to Barcelona head coach Ronald Koeman.

Griezmann's former representative Eric Olhats last week suggested the Barca captain has played a significant role in the France star's struggles at Camp Nou.

Messi was asked about the remarks after landing at El Prat Airport on Wednesday, having represented Argentina in a couple of World Cup qualifiers over the international break.

"I'm a little tired of always being the problem for everything at the club," he said.

Messi's comments come at a time when he continues to be linked with a move away from Barca, but Koeman insisted it is not fair on his player to be constantly questioned.

"I can understand that Leo is p****d off. You have to respect Leo more," he said at a news conference ahead of Saturday's LaLiga clash with Atletico Madrid.

"After such a long trip and asking about Antoine is disrespectful. It may be your intention to create a controversy. 

"I have never seen any confrontation between the two on the field, training ground or in the locker room. 

"I am not in favour of giving importance to Olhats because he stopped being Griezmann's agent years ago. What he said is b******t."

Koeman added: "I have to defend Leo because after 15 hours of travel, they do a one-hour check, and then you find a lot of press asking you a lot of questions."

Messi failed in an effort to walk away from Barca in August as the validity of his release clause was questioned due to last season being prolonged by the coronavirus pandemic.

Koeman reiterated he is hopeful the six-time Ballon d'Or winner will stay on beyond this season but conceded the decision is out of his hands.

"He still has a year on his contract. In my opinion he has to stay here," he said. "But I am not the person who has to convince him. Nobody knows what may happen in the future.

"It is incredible what he has done for this club. He is the person who will make a decision about his future."

The comments made by Olhats placed Griezmann's role at Barcelona firmly back in the spotlight, the forward having failed to make the desired impact since arriving in July 2019.

Griezmann has two goals and one assist in nine appearances this term and missed a penalty in Barca's last outing before the international break.

However, ahead of this weekend's trip to Griezmann's former club Atletico, Koeman reiterated he has no concerns over the Frenchman's form.

"No, because I see him concentrating, working and trying to help win the games," he said.

Philippe Coutinho is back in Barca's squad for the showdown at the Wanda Metropolitano, coinciding with the loss of Ansu Fati to a knee injury for the next four months.

"Philippe is okay," Koeman added. "He has been training for almost a week now and we have to talk to the physios about the best time for him to enter the match - from the start or from the bench.

"He is not a winger who likes to go deep; he plays more as an offensive midfielder. He is a great player and it is always good to have him because he is versatile."

Barcelona star Philippe Coutinho will not return to fitness before the November international break, according to the Brazil national team.

Coutinho suffered a hamstring injury in Saturday's defeat to Real Madrid despite completing the full game at Camp Nou.

Barca said a timescale for the former Liverpool man's return "depends on how the injury evolves", but Brazil's doctors have also now assessed the player.

Doctor Rodrigo Lasmar believes "there is not enough time for the recovery of the player for his participation in the next two rounds of [2022 World Cup] qualifiers", a statement read.

Brazil have therefore called up Lyon's Lucas Paqueta in his place for the fixtures against Venezuela and Uruguay on November 13 and 17.

Should Coutinho be available for Barca again following the break, he would make his return against Atletico Madrid almost a month on from the initial issue.

Coutinho is set to be joined in missing Brazil's qualifiers by Liverpool's Fabinho.

The midfielder, who has been playing in defence for the Reds since Virgil van Dijk's injury, sustained a hamstring problem in Tuesday's Champions League win over Midtjylland.

Liverpool were waiting for a scan on the injury on Wednesday, but Jurgen Klopp suggested Fabinho's absence would not represent a major blow for Brazil, as he has earned just 12 caps for his country and started on five occasions.

"I'm not sure if Tite's too worried because he plays him never, so he will probably now not sit on the bench for the next [two] international games," Klopp said.

Josep Maria Bartomeu's ultimately unpopular tenure as Barcelona president has finally come to an end after the club's entire board resigned.

Barca won the treble in his first full season in charge in 2014-15, led by the thrilling front three of Lionel Messi, Neymar and Luis Suarez.

But it seems unlikely Bartomeu's time as the top man at Camp Nou will be remembered for that success.

Barca subsequently suffered humiliation after humiliation in the Champions League, reaching a remarkable crescendo with August's 8-2 quarter-final demolition at the hands of eventual champions Bayern Munich.

However, it was Bartomeu's failings in the transfer market that helped put the Catalan giants in such a position.

While Neymar left and then Lionel Messi pushed for a move of his own, Barca recruited in disappointing if often spectacular fashion.

Not all of Bartomeu's signings were poor, but we look at the 10 permanent deals that defined his reign.

 

Marc-Andre ter Stegen – €12m from Borussia Monchengladbach

That stunning first season of on-field triumphs came after an excellent summer transfer window, although Ter Stegen was restricted to Champions League action initially as fellow new man Claudio Bravo started in LaLiga. Germany international Ter Stegen quickly proved his worth in the 2014-15 European campaign, keeping a joint-high six clean sheets courtesy of 31 saves, while trailing only Manuel Neuer for successful passes (245) and passing accuracy (80 per cent) among goalkeepers.

Ivan Rakitic – €18m from Sevilla

Another to join in the €165m spending spree of 2014, Rakitic only departed this year to return to Sevilla. The midfielder was a consistent performer throughout his time at Camp Nou, yet perhaps his best season was reserved for his first 12 months at Barca. He scored five times in LaLiga and laid on seven assists – the most in his Barca career – from 35 chances created.

Luis Suarez – €81m from Liverpool

The most important and surely best signing of Bartomeu's tenure followed in that same transfer window as Barca prised Suarez from Liverpool after their failed Premier League title bid in which he netted 31 times. That same scoring form continued in LaLiga, where Suarez struck up a great partnership and friendship with Messi. The Uruguay international left for Atletico Madrid prior to the 2020-21 campaign – a key factor in the ongoing Barca crisis – having scored 198 goals for the club, trailing only Messi and Cesar Rodriguez. Suarez scored a sensational 40 LaLiga goals in 2015-16, along with 16 assists and 23 tackles, typifying his work rate. All three were high marks for his Barca career.

Thomas Vermaelen – €18m from Arsenal

Along with Ter Stegen, Rakitic and Suarez, though, came a signing that would prove more in keeping with much of the rest of the work done under Bartomeu. Vermaelen cost a decent fee, was scarcely fit and rarely looked like troubling the starting XI when he was. He made just 26 LaLiga starts in five years at Barca.

Andre Gomes – €35m from Valencia

After making just two signings in 2015-16, Barca were busy in the market again the following campaign. A combination of form and fitness meant few if any of the 2016-17 signings could be considered successes, but Gomes was perhaps the worst. Signed for a fee that could have risen to €55m, he scored three goals and provided one assist in the league across two seasons before leaving for Everton.

Ousmane Dembele – €105m from Borussia Dortmund

Barca's dealings had been questionable even before they sold Neymar, but the money brought in for the Brazilian then appeared to burn a hole in the pocket of Bartomeu, who proceeded to spend it in a series of unsuccessful ways. Dembele seemed a reasonable enough replacement for Neymar but injuries disrupted his progress. He has supplied just 12 goals and 11 assists in the league since signing, although he remains at Camp Nou.

Philippe Coutinho – €120m from Liverpool

Barca tried for Coutinho when Neymar first left and returned for the Liverpool star again in January. Yet the Blaugrana did not appear to have a role made for the playmaker, sticking to a 4-3-3 formation that forced him out wide or deep in the midfield. Another still at Barca, a reasonable enough initial return of eight goals and five assists from 29 chances created in the remainder of his first season did not provide a platform for success. He spent last season on loan at Bayern and scored twice in the humbling of his parent club.

Malcom – €41m from Bordeaux

As Barca went big again in 2018-19, there appeared to be a third attempt at replacing Neymar. Malcom was just 21 and should have been one for the future but did not last long. A single season brought one goal and two assists before he left for Zenit.

Antoine Griezmann – €120m from Atletico Madrid

Project replace Neymar: part four. With attempts to bring the PSG number 10 himself back to Barca failing, a long-awaited move for Griezmann was instead completed. A World Cup winner who led the line for one of Barca's biggest domestic rivals, Griezmann certainly had the pedigree but has so far struggled to work with Messi in attack. The pair are yet to create a single chance for one another in LaLiga this season and have combined on just 23 passes.

Martin Braithwaite – €18m from Leganes

Braithwaite is evidently delighted to be at Barca, but perhaps that is the problem. It is a stunning indictment of Bartomeu's tenure that Ronald Koeman had to turn to the Denmark international in a bid to rescue last week's Clasico defeat. He now wears the number nine shirt that belonged to Suarez.

Barcelona have announced Philippe Coutinho suffered a hamstring injury during Saturday's Clasico defeat to Real Madrid.

The Brazil international played the full game as Madrid prevailed 3-1 at Camp Nou, leaving Barca languishing in the bottom half of the table.

Coutinho completed 84 per cent of his passes but failed to create a chance in the game, while just one of his five shots ended up being on target.

He has started four of the five LaLiga games played so far in Ronald Koeman's reign, including scoring Barcelona's goal in the 1-1 draw with Sevilla on October 4. 

However, the 28-year-old – who spent the 2019-20 season on loan at Bayern Munich, helping them secure a treble – is set for a spell on the sidelines, although Barca did not reveal how long he will be out.

"Tests on Sunday morning have revealed that Philippe Coutinho has a left biceps femoris (hamstring) injury," a short statement from the club read.

"Exactly how long that means he will be out of action depends on how the injury evolves.

Coutinho's injury is a blow ahead of a midweek trip to Turin for a crucial Champions League clash with Group G rivals Juventus.

Barca also have a European game against Dynamo Kiev, as well as meetings with Deportivo Alaves and Real Betis in the league, before the November international break.

Lionel Messi and Ansu Fati were on target as Barcelona opened their Champions League campaign with a thumping 5-1 win over Ferencvaros at Camp Nou on Tuesday, although Gerard Pique was dismissed for the hosts.

Ronald Koeman's side suffered a surprise 1-0 defeat to Getafe in LaLiga at the weekend and looked shaky in the early stages against their Hungarian opponents, who were making their first appearance in the Champions League group stages for 25 years.

Messi's penalty shortly before the half-hour mark settled any nerves, though, while Fati doubled their advantage in the 42nd minute.

Philippe Coutinho added a third early in the second half before Ihor Kharatin pulled one back for the visitors from the penalty spot after Pique had been dismissed for bringing down Tokmac Nguen inside the area. Barca had the final say, however, substitute Pedri scoring his first goal for the club eight minutes from time and Ousmane Dembele adding a late fifth.

Ferencvaros were far from overawed in the early stages against their illustrious opponents, twice going close to taking the lead inside the opening 20 minutes.

Nguen had a fine strike ruled out for offside before Isael crashed a powerful drive against Neto's crossbar from 10 yards.

They were left to rue those close calls in the 27th minute when Messi powered home from the spot after he had been tripped in the area by Adnan Kovacevic.

It made the Argentina international the first player in Champions League history to score in 16 consecutive seasons.

Fati was denied by the outstretched leg of Denes Dibusz but then got the better of the Ferencvaros goalkeeper three minutes before the interval, steering a volley inside his left-hand post after a sublime looped pass from Frenkie de Jong.

Fati turned provider for Barca's third seven minutes after the restart, Coutinho receiving his impudent back-heeled pass before sending a deflected effort past Dibusz.

Kharatin restored some pride for the visitors 20 minutes from time after Pique clumsily hauled down Nguen as he entered the penalty area following a ball over the top.

Any hopes of a dramatic comeback were extinguished, however, as Pedri turned home from 12 yards and Dembele thundered home from Messi's pass in the final 10 minutes to seal a comfortable three points.

Philippe Coutinho's Champions League triumph with Bayern Munich can be a boost for Barcelona and Antoine Griezmann will find his best form, says Los Cules goalkeeper Neto.

Brazil playmaker Coutinho spent last term on loan at Bayern and won a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble – the latter triumph including a star turn off the bench in an 8-2 battering of Barca in the quarter-finals.

Even though Bayern opted not to make the move permanent, it still appeared as though Coutinho's future lay away from Camp Nou until Ronald Koeman's arrival as head coach signalled a fresh lease of life at Barca.

Coutinho has two assists and a goal, as well as an 88.96 per cent pass success rate, from four LaLiga games this season and compatriot Neto is delighted to see him back playing at Barca.

"I am happy to have a friend like Coutinho back in the squad, with his quality," he said at a news conference previewing Barca's Champions League opener against Ferencvaros. 

"He has shown his quality and that he is excited to return to the club. The Champions League title that he has won at Bayern will give him a lot of security and will give us a lot."

Conversely, Griezmann has endured a slow start to the campaign, failing to score, assist or even create a chance for a team-mate yet from four appearances.

Much was expected of Griezmann when he arrived from Atletico Madrid ahead of the 2019-20 campaign but the France World Cup winner has struggled for top form at Camp Nou.

Neto, though, offered his backing to his under-fire team-mate.

"I see Griezmann very well, as always, we know what this profession is like, sometimes things turn out better and others worse," he added. 

"But I see him happy and working in training and I'm sure he will continue to provide us with many things as before."

This week, it was reported Barca's squad had signed a burofax against a 30 per cent reduction to pay, with only three players apparently not putting their name to the document.

Barca announced big losses to revenue, largely due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Neto was reluctant to go into too much detail over the issue.

"On the salary issue, I think it would be incoherent to answer now," he said. 

"The whole squad and I are focused on the game and with being a personal and individual issue, each one has their opinion.

"The important thing now is the game and we are focused on getting a positive result."

Roberto Firmino lavished high praise on Brazil team-mate Philippe Coutinho, claiming he has "magical powers" that help him see passes and moves that other players could not imagine.

Coutinho and Firmino have been team-mates since 2014 when the latter broke into the Brazil setup, four years after the Barcelona attacker.

But in 2015 they became Liverpool colleagues as well when Firmino joined from Hoffenheim, as the foundations for Jurgen Klopp's all-conquering Reds began to take shape.

Coutinho ultimately left for Barcelona in 2018 before Liverpool realised their full potential, and ever since little has gone right for the Vasco da Gama youth product, who struggled at Camp Nou before failing to earn a permanent move to Bayern Munich.

But Firmino remains convinced of the talent still held by Coutinho, who has been given a fresh chance at Barca under new head coach Ronald Koeman.

"He's phenomenal," Firmino told FIFA. "You simply can't say that he's not a magician. He has magical powers.

"He produces plays that don't exist, that you couldn't make up. You always have to watch replays of his plays to understand what he's done. He's an unbelievable player.

"It was a pleasure to play with him at Liverpool, and it's a pleasure to play with him for the Selecao. I'm a huge fan of his. He's one of the very best players in the world."

Like Coutinho, Firmino scored in Brazil's most recent match – the 5-0 demolition of Bolivia in Sao Paulo.

Firmino was the leading the line for Brazil, a role he has become accustomed to both at club level and with the Selecao, and he hopes to be a long-term option in a position the team has arguably been short in since the days of Ronaldo.

"Yes, definitely, I love playing in this position, I want to be the player Brazil can rely on in this position," he said, before outlining how coach Tite has asked him to play the role.

"It's not that he asked me not to help out, but he wants me to always be in the area. I still have to get back to mark, but he wants me to chase back less after the ball, be in the box more.

"I have a natural urge to help out, get back – I do this for Liverpool – so I have put this aside and do what Tite has asked of me.

"I enjoy being involved in play, creating goals, but I also enjoy being in the box, scoring goals."

Philippe Coutinho is determined to make his spell at Barcelona a success after returning from a trophy-laden loan stint with Bayern Munich.

The midfielder had been a long-time target for Barca when at Liverpool and the LaLiga giants finally got their man in January 2018 for a deal worth €120million up front.

However, Coutinho was initially unable to live up to the hefty price tag and last season he spent the campaign with Bayern, who won the treble under Hansi Flick.

Coutinho played 38 times in all competitions, scoring 11 times, though he was often used off the bench, including in the 8-2 Champions League quarter-final win over Barca when he scored twice against his parent club.

With Ronald Koeman now in charge at Camp Nou, Coutinho has started all three LaLiga games so far and is keen to finally make his mark in Catalonia.

"I'm having a very good time," he told reporters while on international duty with Brazil.

"In these seasons I have achieved many things on a personal and collective level, which is the most important thing.

"I have returned to Spain with a lot of desire for things to go well and it is also what I want in the national team, every opportunity I have I want to play great games giving my best for the team."

Coutinho is back at Barca with the inside knowledge of how the best team on the continent operate.

He pinpointed the intensity of Flick's squad as one of the chief reasons for their success.

"At Bayern, I learned a lot about work, because they are very intense in training," he explained.

"A natural consequence is the evolution in the physical part, which I have really had, because you work a lot and I have worked a lot.

"I already had this way of thinking, but now I have to dedicate myself three or four times more than normal to be successful."

Brazil coach Tite praised the performance of Neymar and was pleased at Roberto Firmino's contribution in the 5-0 thrashing of Bolivia. 

Liverpool forward Firmino scored twice as Brazil opened their World Cup qualifying campaign in impressive fashion, despite having not played an international fixture in nearly 12 months. 

Marquinhos and Philippe Coutinho also scored, with Bolivia not helping their cause with an own goal in the rout in Sao Paulo. 

Neymar did not score but was influential throughout, the Paris Saint-Germain forward showing no signs of the back problem that had bothered him during the build-up to the game. 

"We seek knowledge, strategies, [to play] with harmony," Tite said after the resounding victory. 

"Neymar was looser, more central, with freedom of movement, as the opponent's marking is more demanding.  

"Coutinho played inside, with Firmino not far behind. He [Firmino] did not seek the ball so much, he waited for it more.  

"He scored two and could have had two more. As the game requires, we may not change the function of the team, but adapt it to suit."

Brazil are next in action on Tuesday, when they are away to Peru. 

Tite will hope his side can be just as clinical on their travels in what will be a repeat of the 2019 Copa America final in Rio de Janeiro, a game the Selecao won 3-1 to lift the trophy.

"It is a feature to maintain possession of the ball. But there is no use getting the ball and finishing little," the Brazil boss added in his press conference.

Roberto Firmino scored twice as Brazil eased past Bolivia 5-0 in a dominant display to kick off their 2022 World Cup qualifying campaign.

Brazil barely raised a sweat in their opening CONMEBOL qualifier on Friday, outclassing Bolivia thanks to Firmino's brace, while Marquinhos and Philippe Coutinho were also on target, to go with a Jose Carrasco own goal.

Tite's Brazil had not played since their 3-0 win over South Korea in a November friendly after the coronavirus pandemic forced World Cup qualifying to be postponed in March, but the Selecao did not look like a team featuring for the first time in 2020.

Brazil dominated from the outset and they should have scored two goals inside three minutes, however, Everton and Marquinhos wasted golden opportunities in the pouring Sao Paulo rain.

Marquinhos, who glanced a header wide in the third minute, made no mistake in the 16th minute as he got on the end of a Danilo cross and headed powerfully past Bolivia goalkeeper Carlos Lampe to open the scoring.

Bolivia could not get close to Brazil and the visitors almost conceded again after Coutinho's shot from the top of the penalty area took a wicked deflection and skidded off the turf, forcing Lampe into a fine diving save.

Bolivia's non-existent defending was exposed when Renan Lodi made an unmarked run and whipped a ball across the six-yard box for Firmino to tap home.

Brazil continued where they left off in the second half after Firmino netted within four minutes of the restart – Neymar playing a ball to his team-mate, who routinely poked home.

Weverton – playing in the absence of injured number one goalkeeper Alisson – had nothing to do until he was called into action by Bruno Miranda's rising shot in the 50th minute.

Brazil showed no mercy as Carrasco deflected the ball into his own net past the hour mark, before Neymar provided the cross for the onrushing Coutinho to head home emphatically with 17 minutes remaining.

 

What does it mean? Brazil dance to their own beat

Brazil took to the field for the first time in almost a year and the South American giants did not look off the pace, unlike rivals Argentina on Thursday. Albeit against weaker opposition, Brazil kicked off their road to Qatar 2022 in ruthless fashion.

Neymar pulls the strings

The Paris Saint-Germain superstar was not on the scoresheet, but he produced a great performance. After shaking off a back problem, Neymar was at the heart of Brazil's big moments, providing a pair of assists in his 102nd international appearance.

Sorry Bolivia

It was always going to be an uphill battle for South America's whipping boys. Bolivia – beaten 3-0 by Brazil in their last meeting at the 2019 Copa America – rarely threatened, pegged back in their own half for the majority of the contest.

What's next?

Brazil will face Peru on Tuesday, while Bolivia host Lionel Messi's Argentina on the same day.

Philippe Coutinho is determined to "achieve big things" at Barcelona after being given a second chance at Camp Nou under Ronald Koeman.

The attacking midfielder scored his first goal since returning to LaLiga, netting the equaliser in Sunday's tough 1-1 home draw against Europa League winners Sevilla on Sunday.

Coutinho joined Barca from Liverpool in a reported €160million deal in January 2018 but struggled to assert himself in the first-team picture and was shipped out on loan to Bayern Munich last term.

At Bayern, Coutinho was part of the team that won a Bundesliga, DFB-Pokal and Champions League treble under Hansi Flick but the Bavarians opted not to make the move permanent.

Coutinho's future was shrouded in doubt, with Arsenal and Tottenham having been touted as potential suitors, but the arrival of Koeman afforded him a fresh opportunity at Barca.

It is one Coutinho is keen to take, with the Brazil playmaker saying in quotes reported by Marca: "I've got a lot of hunger to work and achieve big things.

"It was a tough and difficult game [but] we knew that already. It ended up being like that.

"We've got a point and now we're going into the international break. When we return, it's about continuing to work.

"We've had a difficult first three games, but we're just getting started. We're used to this and we'll keep working. 

"Sevilla played very well. There were a lot of Sevilla players in the centre of midfield and that's why we struggled a bit. We have to correct that."

Coutinho celebrated his goal by tucking the ball under his shirt, as his wife is pregnant.

"My wife is pregnant and I wanted to dedicate my goal to her," he added. "It will be my third child."

Barcelona had to settle for a 1-1 draw with Sevilla despite Philippe Coutinho quickly cancelling out Luuk de Jong's early opener in Sunday's LaLiga clash. 

The two sides entered the match with 100 per cent records from their opening two league matches this term, and there was little to separate them at Camp Nou. 

Sevilla opened the scoring inside eight minutes when De Jong thumped the ball past Neto - the first goal Barca have conceded this season - but Coutinho profited from Jesus Navas' error 105 seconds later to level things up. 

Ronald Koeman's men were put under a lot of pressure in the second half and survived a scare as Ronald Araujo hit his own crossbar, but in the end the contest finished level. 

Sevilla, now winless in 18 LaLiga trips to Barcelona, had gone ahead through De Jong's strike after Suso's left-sided cross was headed down into the forward's path. 

Coutinho responded instantly for Barca with a simple finish after Navas inadvertently set him up, having attempted to cut out Lionel Messi's pass to Jordi Alba. 

Antoine Griezmann prodded wide from a promising opportunity and Ansu Fati, beaten too easily in the build-up to the visitors' opener, tested Yassine Bounou from further out. 

After Diego Carlos nearly scored an own goal, Araujo - filling in for the suspended Clement Lenglet in defence - did likewise at the other end, diverting a low cross against the bar. 

Jules Kounde twice sent headers wide and Youssef En-Nesyri perhaps could have done better with a headed opportunity of his own, as Sevilla looked for the rarest of wins in this fixture.

The hosts also had a late chance, yet Trincao, brought on in place of Griezmann, was unable to get the better of Bounou when racing through on goal.

What does it mean? Winning runs come to an end 

Barcelona beat Villarreal and Celta Vigo without conceding in their first two matches of the Koeman era, though this was always going to be their toughest test yet. 

That proved to be the case, with an in-form Sevilla - unbeaten inside 90 minutes since February - holding their own in terms of possession and edging the shot count (13 to 12). 

Kounde involved at both ends 

It is easy to see why the Sevilla defender is so highly coveted by teams around Europe. 

He completed more passes (77) than any player on the pitch and did not concede a single foul. Perhaps more impressively, considering Messi was on the field, nobody bettered his three attempts. 

Navas gifts equaliser to Coutinho 

The versatile full-back claimed an assist in Sevilla's first two league games and he set up another goal here - albeit for the opposition. 

At full stretch in an attempt to intercept a searching Messi pass towards Alba, Jesus knocked the ball into Coutinho's path and the Barca playmaker had an easy finish. 

What's next? 

Barcelona travel to Getafe in their first LaLiga game back after the international break, while Sevilla are away to Granada. 

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