The news that stole the headlines around the world after the weekend of European games was the injury to three-time Ballon d’Or winner Lionel Messi.
Although Barcelona claimed a 2-1 victory over Las Palmas through a Luis Suarez brace. The knee injury sustained by Lionel Messi’s knee in first 10 minutes stole all the headlines around the world.
As rumours speculate about the Argentinean’s time on the sidelines, with some estimations being up to two months, Barcelona must move forward with their domestic and European football campaigns.
Currently, Luis Enrique’s men sit second in La Liga one point behind leaders Villarreal. There is, however, Real Madrid, Celta Vigo and Atletico Madrid breathing down their next as they look to overtake the Spanish Champions.
As well as domestic football Barcelona also has to focus on their European title defence in a challenging group consisting of AS Roma, Bayern Leverkusen and BATE.
Barcelona first challenge without the Argentinian superstar will come in the form of a Champions League match against Group E leaders Bayern Leverkusen.
Group E looks to be one of the more challenging groups in the Champions League this season as Bayern Leverkusen, AS Roma and Barcelona are expectant to push for qualification spots.
Currently, results see Barcelona sit equal second in the group after their one all draw with AS Roma in day one.
The defending champions undoubtingly will want to get their first win in Europe this season and go top of Group E with victory at home against Leverkusen.
With the added pressure to perform in Europe, Luis Enrique will also have the added task of finding a replacement for Messi to partner Neymar and Luis Suarez up front.
After Messi’s withdrawal against Las Palmas match, the Barcelona boss gave the nod to 20-year-old Munir.
The youngster had a solid performance for the Catalan side and finished the match with an assist in Suarez’s second goal.
Another youngster waiting for his opportunity option is fellow 20-year -old Spaniard Sandro Ramirez. Ramirez came on in the last 10 minutes for Munir and didn’t look out of place in the side.
Fortunately, for Barcelona with these two choices and more star quality in the side, they have plenty of depth to cover for the injured Messi.
It will also be important that whilst Messi is absent from the squad that that all of Barcelona stars’ are at their best to keep the side in winning form.
Names like Iniesta, Neymar, Suarez and more will need to be in continuous form for Barcelona across their packed fixture to ensure their treble defence.
The news of Messi’s injury comes as a blow to the side, however, it gives plenty of opportunity for all members of Luis Enrique’s men to shine.
Opportunity arises for Barcelona’s fellow superstars to shine on the European and domestic stage and a chance comes for their youngsters to make their mark in a team, which would normally consider them rotation players.
Barcelona boss, Luis Enrique stated in the lead up to the Champions League match, that Barcelona are a team and will not change their style regardless of who is in and out of the squad.
This statement will be put to the test in match day two of the Champions League, which sees Barcelona host Bayern Leverkusen kicking off at 8:45 PM local time.