Saturday, November 18, 2017

Gomes hails role models Iniesta and Rakitic ahead of PSG clash

SoccerNews in La Liga 13 Feb 2017

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Andre Gomes has identified Ivan Rakitic and Andres Iniesta as his role models as the Portugal midfielder continues to settle into life at Barcelona.

Euro 2016 winner Gomes joined Barcelona from Valencia following that triumph with his country and has made 29 appearances across all competitions this season.

The 23-year-old has been deployed in both a holding role and the more advanced central midfield positions over the past month, filling in for the Sergio Busquets and Rakitic, while also providing cover for club great Iniesta

Barcelona face Paris Saint-Germain in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie on Tuesday and, irrespective of the role he is handed in the French capital, Gomes is happy to be learning alongside the best.

“I’d rather have my own style but I think I am a mixture of the two,” he told a pre-match news conference when asked about comparisons with Iniesta and Rakitic.

“There is no body the same as Rakitic or a person who plays the same way as Andres.

“They are two great players. I need to keep growing, I have a lot of years ahead of me. They are my role models in the team.

“Everyone can have their own opinion but the most important thing is my team-mates are helping me to grow”

Gomes expects a keenly contested midfield battle against Unai Emery’s men at Parc des Princes and is also wary of Edinson Cavani’s goalscoring exploits, with the Uruguay forward revelling in a central striking role following Zlatan Ibrahimovic’s departure to Manchester United.

“Paris Saint-Germain have got top quality players,” he added. “They made some signings in the transfer window.

“Zlatan has gone but Cavani is scoring a lot of goals as well. The midfield is very strong. They are a very complete team.

“They used to win their league without problems in the past. We are playing at their home and it’s going to be a difficult game.”

 

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