Barcelona will make a late decision on whether captain Andrés Iniesta is fit to face Chelsea in the Champions League on Wednesday, coach Ernesto Valverde has confirmed. Iniesta sustained a hamstring injury against Atlético de Madrid on 4 March but the midfielder took part in a light training session on Monday ahead of the Last 16 return leg at the Camp Nou. The first leg finished 1-1.
Champions League is not the place to take risks
"It's clear when a match like this arrives, a player tends to take risks", Valverde said on Tuesday. "What we have to decide is whether the risk is excessive. He completed most of yesterday's training session. We'll see how he is today. Of course, this is a very important game, a decisive match and it's a game in which everyone will need to be at 100 per cent".
Iniesta could be replaced by Paulinho in the starting line-up but the Spaniard's absence would represent a major blow to his team's hopes of reaching the quarter finals. Leo Messi, however, is available again, after the Argentinean missed Saturday's win at Málaga to attend the birth of his son, Ciro.
Valverde admires André Gomes' bravery
Valverde also spoke about the situation surrounding André Gomes who has admitted feeling depressed at how his Barça career is developing while his relationship with the fans has deteriorated and now stands at a new low. "To publicly say what André Gomes did is an act of great bravery because all of us - players, coaches, public figures... all try not to show any kind of weakness and insecurity so to do so openly takes a lot of courage. But it's nothing new and it's not a unique case. It's something which we have all been through. These are situations which we all have to confront from time to time and the only way to do that is to pull yourself through and go forward. It's not something which I have never come across myself in my career - as a player or as a coach".