Barcelona assistant Jordi Roura has underlined the importance of Eric Abidal’s return in the 5-0 rout of Mallorca on Saturday.
The 33-year-old came on as a substitute in the second half after enduring 14 months on the sidelines following a liver transplant.
Roura believes his comeback will provide an invaluable boost to his team-mates who are challenging for honours in Spain and Europe.
“Abidal’s return is an important moment for the whole squad,” he told reporters after the match.
Aside from the defender’s eagerly anticipated return to action, the night also proved of note due to Cesc Fabregas’ sublime hat-trick after the midfielder was fielded in Lionel Messi’s false nine position, and Roura seized the opportunity to insist that the Camp Nou outfit are not dependent on the Argentine.
“If Messi’s not there, of course it’s a problem, but we’ve shown again we have the necessary squad depth and quality players,” the stand-in coach said.
“Cesc played a great game, and he’s played before in that position. [Alex] Song was outstanding, while (Alexis) Sanchez also scored twice. He only left the pitch as a precaution.
“Fielding (Gerard) Pique and (Marc) Bartra (against Paris Saint-Germain in the Champions League)?
“They played a very good game together, but every game is different, so we’ll see.”
After taking another step towards securing the Liga title, Barca now turn their attention to the Champions League where they will host Carlo Ancelotti’s men in the quarter-finals on Wednesday having secured a 2-2 draw at Parc des Princes in Tuesday’s first leg.