Barcelona starlet Riqui Puig sent a message to supporters in the wake of Tuesday’s disappointing Champions League defeat to Juventus at the Camp Nou.
The 21-year-old took to social media with a post that read, “It was not the result we wanted but we only have to keep working to change the situation. Happy to play again at the Camp Nou, it is always special. Long live Barca!”
Puig came off the bench on 66 minutes to replace Pedri and put in an impressive cameo. However, the youngster could not help Barca stage a comeback as a Cristiano Ronaldo double and a Weston McKennie goal saw the visitors run out 3-0 winners.
It proved to be a costly result for the Catalan giants who had been perfect in their first five Champions League matches. Yet Tuesday’s loss was enough to see them pipped to top spot in the group by Juventus and forced to settle for second place.
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Puig the Creator
It may have been a disappointing night for Barca but Puig certainly staked a claim for more minutes with his performance. The youngster added energy and dynamism to a Barca midfield that had struggled against the Serie A champions.
Tuesday’s outing was only Puig’s fourth of the season but he has made his impact felt on the pitch on the rare occasions he has been granted some game time by manager Ronald Koeman.
Puig’s performance was the only real positive for Barca who were beaten for the second match in a row and was enough to offer the club some optimism for the future. The midfielder has already admitted he is determined to force his way into Koeman’s thinking and will surely earn more minutes if he can continue to impress on the pitch.
Impressing in Training
Puig and his Barcelona team-mates was back in training on Wednesday to prepare for Sunday’s La Liga clash against Levante at the Camp Nou. The Spain Under-21 international looked in good shape on the training ground along with fellow youngsters Carles Alena and Konrad de la Fuente.
The trio have all been used sparingly by Koeman so far this season but will be hoping they can earn more regular minutes. The team’s poor start to the season, growing injury list and a packed fixture list means opportunities may crop up.
Puig is a big fan favorite after coming through the club’s famed La Masia academy, and supporters would love to see him more involved. The youngster has the skill, control and vision neede to unlock defenses and can provide the creativity that has been lacking this season.
Yet there has been speculation Puig could leave on loan in January in order to secure regular playing time. The talented youngster has made it clear in the past he does not want to leave, but he is unlikely to lack for offers when the transfer window does reopen.