Barcelona’s preparations for next Wednesday’s Champions League tie against Arsenal at the Emirates stadium have been hit by an unlikely source – Pope Benedict XVI.
His Holiness has arranged to meet Spain’s victorious World Cup-winning squad at the Vatican on Monday, 48 hours before the tie.
Spain coach Vicente Del Bosque believes it is ‘natural’ is that the players would want to attend Monday’s meeting but Barcelona have eight members of the Spain squad that beat Holland 1-0 in the final.
Arsenal captain Cesc Fabregas was also a World Cup winner along with Chelsea’s new £50 million signing Fernando Torres who will be involved in the Blues’ tie against Copenhagen next Wednesday.
Their presence in Rome would mean the players missing Monday’s training session and though Del Bosque cannot order anyone to attend he said that ‘as champions you must comply with certain things.’
Barcelona and Spain midfielder Sergio Busquets said: ‘We have to talk to the club but with the Champions League tie in London it will be very difficult. We’ll talk the Spanish Football Federation and the club, we’ll do what is best.’
So what do we think? Should the players miss the training session or miss the meeting with the Pope? Does it really matter either way?