Ronald Koeman has named 24 senior players and five youngsters from Barcelona B in his list. Goalkeepers Iñaki Peña and Arnau Tenas are included along with defender Oscar Mingueza, highly-rated midfielder Ilaix Moriba, and USA winger Konrad de la Fuente.
Here’s the full list:
Goalkeepers: Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Neto, Inaki Pena, Arnau Tenas.
Defenders: Sergino Dest, Gerard Pique, Ronald Araujo, Clement Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Samuel Umtiti, Junior Firpo, Oscar Mingueza.
Midfielders: Sergio Busquets, Carles Alena, Miralem Pjanic, Riqui Puig, Matheus Fernandes, Sergi Roberto, Frenkie de Jong, Ilaix Moriba.
Attack: Antoine Griezmann, Martin Braithwaite, Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembele, Philippe Coutinho, Pedri, Francisco Trincao, Ansu Fati, Konrad de la Fuente.
Barcelona have been drawn in the same group as Serie A champions Juventus, Ukrainian side Dynamo Kiev and Hungarian champions Ferencvaros. Their first fixture is at home to Ferencvaros on October 20.
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Konrad Impressing Koeman?
There are no major surprises in Barcelona’s Champions League squad, although Koeman’s decision to include Konrad suggests the new coach is impressed with the 19-year-old.
The USA starlet has been a regular in first-team training under Koeman and has also been part of his matchday squads for Barcelona’s last two La Liga games against Celta Vigo and Sevilla.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) October 6, 2020
Konrad featured in pre-season but has yet to make his competitive debut for Barcelona, although the signs suggest he may not have to wait too much longer for his first minutes.
Ilaix Making Waves at Barcelona
The inclusion of Ilaix is also an interesting choice by Koeman. The 17-year-old midfielder has also had a taste of first-team training since the Dutch coach replaced Quique Setien at the helm.
The teenager has already earned comparions with France and Manchester United midfielder Paul Pogba and has already shown in his time at the club the talent that he possesses.
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) August 22, 2019
Ilaix seems unlikely to feature in Europe’s elite competition this season with Barcelona, but the club will be hoping he can continue his current trajectory and make the breakthrough into the first team.
Koeman Talks Champions League Hopes
There will be great scrutiny on Koeman in the Champions League as Barcelona have suffered humiliating exits from the competition in the past three seasons.
The Catalan giants will be expected to progress safely from the group into the knockout stages, and Koeman has offered his thoughts on their opponents in an interview with Barca TV.
“It’s a very important competition. In theory we are the best in the group, but we have to show that. We start at home against Ferencváros, which is an important game for which we have to prepare and analyse the opposition.
“Juventus are showing every year that they have a strong team, with experience and a great player like Cristiano Ronaldo. We have Pjanic, who can give us a little more information about his former club.”
It looks to be a battle between Barcelona and Juventus for top spot in the group, while the two games will also see Lionel Messi come up against Cristiano Ronaldo.