The U19 team posed for an official photo on Monday / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

Jordi Vinyals is in charge of the U19 side this season / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB

The UEFA Youth League gets under this week, and Jordi Vinyals will be looking to get off to a winning start against Apoel Nicosia (7.00 PM CET, Barça TV & fcbarcelona.com) in the Miniestadi.

The players trained for the last time before the match on Monday morning, and afterwards, the coach said that “we’re champions, but we know that at this age level, every season is about starting afresh. But the Barça DNA is the same as ever. Winning games while knowing how we’re doing it, the main priority being to get players ready for Barça B.”

“We’ve got a difficult group in the Youth League. We haven’t got much info on Apoel, but these things always depend on what players you have coming through the system. PSG and Ajax will have very good squads. They’ve got the same kind of potential as we have.”

No pressure

Being defending champions of the UEFA Youth League, says Vinyals, “is no pressure or stimulus. Youth teams change a lot from one season to the next. Everyone will want to beat the holders, but we just have to do our own thing. We should worry more about what we can or can’t do, not other teams.”

He added that “games like these are very important for players like Kaptoum. They’re top level matches that can help them to mature as footballers.”

Free entrance

Following today’s training session it was confirmed that none of the injured Julen, Fran or Amir will be able to face the Cypriots tomorrow. Entrance to the stadium for this and every other match in the competition will be free. So, without the need for any kind of ticket, Vinyals and his team will be hoping that plenty of Barça members and fans come along to watch them in action at the Miniestadi.

Special coverage in club media

If you aren’t able to come and enjoy the game live in the Miniestadi, you can still follow all of the UEFA Youth League action on Barça TV or fcbarcelona.com. The game is being streamed live here on the official website in Catalan, Spanish and English.

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