Barcelona winger practically ruled out of UCL clash against Napoli


Barcelona's Portuguese forward #14 Joao Felix (C) and teammates attend a training session at the Joan Gamper training ground in Sant Joan Despi, near Barcelona, on January 30, 2024. Only a few months after lifting the Spanish title, Barcelona coach Xavi Hernandez dramatically announced he would walk away from the club at the end of the season. After Villarreal stunned Barcelona on January 28 with a 5-3 win which left the champions third, and 10 points behind La Liga leaders Real Madrid, Xavi said he was stepping down in June.
Photo by PAU BARRENA/AFP via Getty Images

After facing a very serious injury crisis in the last month or so, FC Barcelona have now started recovering players for the upcoming key part of the season. Xavi was able to put Inigo Martinez on the pitch in the game against Alaves, while Ter Stegen and Raphinha returned to action in the match against Granada.

Now, Sergi Roberto and Oriol Romeu are the two players waiting for medical permission to travel with the team for the upcoming game against Celta de Vigo. With these recoveries, the Catalans will now be waiting for Marcos Alonso, Ferran Torres, and Joao Felix to return to action in the coming weeks.

But according to SPORT, none of these players is expected to return for the first leg against Napoli, even though Felix was initially believed to be in contention to recover for this game.

The Portuguese forward has been unable to step on the pitch since he suffered a sprain in the external lateral ligament of his right ankle while training on 30th January. While the club did not specify it, he was reported to be out for a period of three to four weeks.

Barcelona face Napoli in three weeks after Felix’s injury, so if the winger recovered at the earliest possible time, he would have been available for this game. However, the coaching staff is not too optimistic about his ability to return for this game.

However, everything will now depend on how the player evolves in the coming days. As things stand, the coaching staff expects him to be available for the match against Athletic Club on 3rd March.

With this injury, Felix has missed three games, against Osasuna, Alaves, and Granada. But the winger had already lost his starting position to Ferran Torres before this setback. Since the latter is also out with an injury now, Xavi will definitely be looking to recover the on-loan winger as soon as possible.

Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari
Ahmad Sarmad Ansari has been covering Spanish football as a writer for Barca News Network for the last one and a half year and as an amateur football fanatic for more than 10 years. He mainly covers on and off-field happenings taking place at Barcelona including transfer news, administrative changes, match reports, and any other eventful news coming out of the club.

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