Zubizarreta / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB

Before the trip to Moscow, Andoni Zubizarreta talked to the press about FC Barcelona’s short-term objective in the Champions League: “Our goal is to qualify for the next round as soon as possible. We must win on Tuesday for that to happen. We weren’t able to clinch qualification in Glasgow, but we are hopeful that we can do it in Moscow. We’re aware of how difficult the match will be because Spartak are running out of options to get to the next round.” FC Barcelona’s director of football also made mention of the pitch at Luzhniki Stadium: “The majority of players have played on artificial turf when they were in the youth academy. We can’t do anything to change it.”

Zubizarreta laments Bartra’s injury

When asked about Marc Bartra’s injury, Zubizarreta explained that ”Marc won’t play in Moscow but someone else will step up to take his place. We’ve recovered Puyol and Piqué and we have Mascherano and Song, they can both play in that position. We know that it’s practically impossible to have a fully fit squad at any given moment.” He added: “I thought Puyol looked good [against Zaragoza], and that was his first game since his injury. I’m sure that he’ll improve as time goes on.”

On Messi, Zubizarreta said, “he doesn’t play to break individual records. What he wants is to win with the team and contribute to the group with his work.” When asked about Tuesday’s match against Spartak, the director of football said, “We hope it will be as warm as it possibly can be in Russia in November. But I’m sure it will be cold!”