Join soccerly to save and share the best soccer stories
Sign up with Facebook
By login in with Facebook you agree on the terms and conditions specified here


Sergi Roberto has won over Tata Martino. He patiently waited for his opportunity, and grabbed it with both hands as soon as it came. The youngster has played in 12 consecutive games and everything points to the fact that he will extend his run against Getafe.

Iniesta will cede him his place in the starting eleven, after it was decided that he will be rested for the game against Levante. He will not take any unnecessary risks after being substituted during the interlude on Saturday with a knock. The Spanish international underwent tests yesterday which determined that he had suffered " a bruise to his left knee, with no associated medical condition". The result in the first leg of the tie (4-0) means that Martino can bring in some of his less regular players to deal with the rematch.

There are plenty of reasons for Sergi Roberto to get the nod. He has been a regular in the Barça squad since 10th November against Betis. He has even started on five occasions - once in La Liga (Getafe), once in the Champions League (Celtic) and three times in the cup (twice against Cartagena in the round of 16, and against Getafe).

In the Camp Nou, Thiago is now just a memory. After Bayern announced that it would be taking the player away from them, Barcelona immediately set to work looking for someone to fill his boots, and they have found him in a 21 year-old player called Sergi Roberto.

Thiago's leaving came as a surprise to nobody at Barcelona. The club last season was well aware of the terms and conditions within the player's contract, and made sure that he didn't play the number of matches which would have automatically activated the €90 million rescission clause.

To some this decision was a mistake, to others a strategic master-stroke to put the player out for sale. What is definitely clear is that the club hardly moved a finger to stop him going.

The higher-ups at Barça knew that there would be a club happy to take Thiago off their hands. In the end it proved to be Bayern, clearly aware of the player's situation, as the midfielder's agent is none other than Pere, Guardiola's brother.

Barcelona was quite calm about the whole affair because it had an ace up its sleeve in the name of Sergi Roberto. The management are counting on the young player, convinced that he will be a key figure in next season's project. Technically he is very proficient; he creates danger well, and possesses great tactical discipline. This last trait something that Thiago lacked.

For this reason, Sergi's agent, José María Orobitg, was always told that the player would continue in the first team, that they didn't want to sell him, nor even loan him out, given Alcántara elder's possible exit.

Tito Vilanova will have a very well-balanced set-up regarding his right and left wings. He has four players for the two positions (Iniesta, Xavi, Cesc and Sergi Roberto) to share the playing time out among them.