The midfielder suffered a calf injury ahead of the UEFA Champions League final, but his coach remains hopeful. Luis Enrique keeps on hoping Andres Iniesta will recover from a calf injury in time to play for Barcelona in the Champions League final. Iniesta was substituted in the 56th minute of Barcelona’s Copa del Rey triumph on Saturday, with the 31-year-old immediately putting ice on his right calf.
Due to the injury, Iniesta has been forced to miss several training sessions in the build-up to the showpiece clash with Juventus. Reports in the Spanish media claim Iniesta will have scans on the injury Sunday, although Luis Enrique argued the Spain international should be fine, considering how he celebrated Barca’s 3-1 victory over Athletic Bilbao.
“I hope it’s not serious and that he can play in Berlin,” the 45-year-old coach said, according to AS. “I saw him jumping during the cup celebrations.”
Iniesta’s prognosis looks positive and in any case, both the club and the player are prepared to risk a relapse or indeed an aggravation of the injury if necessary. Furthermore, he was fit to train on Thursday and took part in an open session in front of the media at the Olympiastadion on Friday evening with his manager optimistic he will be ready to try to win his fourth Champions League medal.
Speaking to journalists at Barcelona’s training ground on Thursday, Iniesta admitted it would be nice to see Xavi sign off by lifting the European Cup even if he insisted Barcelona’s players do not need any extra motivation. “It has already been a spectacular season so far. It’s a unique chance for a player like him to say goodbye, to lift the trophy. It would be perfect for him, for us, for the fans.”
“We will have to see,” said Enrique. “He trained perfectly well yesterday and I hope he will train well on Friday too.”
Barcelona go into the game with Juventus as clear favourites and the 15,000 Spanish supporters in the stadium will be confident of repeating the treble they won in 2009.
The coach said: “I think there is some euphoria among the fans and we are delighted to see that. That has been around for some months. As professionals, the players, myself and the staff want to focus on this match with seriousness and responsibility. We need to play the game well and have a good day to overcome a powerful opponent.”