The unique situation of Iker Casillas after several months of being a backup at Real Madrid and José Mourinho took part in the press conference of Gerard Pique.
The Barca defender stressed that the Spanish go to their “options” at the Confederations Cup, in which they debut next Sunday against Uruguay, with their “feet on the ground” and basing their strength on their unity and experience.
“Our uniforms are gorgeous, this is one of the keys to our success for all these years,” said Pique, who insisted that the Spanish team is keeping a “great atmosphere.”
However, Piqué avoided speaking directly when asked about Mourinho’s statements made in London, and at Chelsea, and in which he boasted of having put an end to the hegemony of Barcelona in Spanish football. “In recent years we have managed to win all the great titles and Spanish football has a very good health,” said simply the Barcelona defender.
Tito Vilanova will be required to change his plans in order to middle together a strong side against Celtic. Neither Piqué, Puyol and Alves will be available in time, which means all three will miss the vital Champions League match. This trio of absentees and also Busquets, who is currently suspended.
Both Puyol and Alves were training on their own throughout Monday’s session and neither is yet ready to make an apperance. Piqué has also been ruled out, so Vilanova is yet again going to find it hard at the back.
Mascherano and Song are the only first team options readily available at the centre of defence, as Busquets is starting the first game of his two-match ban after his sending-off against Benfica. Yet again it could be a issue of all hands on deck for Barcelona at the back. Meanwhile, the way the Barça ship carries on leaking goals is a huge cause for worry.
Defensive woes aside, the primary talking point in Tito Vilanova’s squad for the Celtic game is the addition of academy player Sergi Roberto, who will take the position of the suspended Sergio Busquets. Indeed, this is the only switch to the squad named by the coach over the last meet.