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Cillessen: I thought Barca interest was a joke

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When Spanish champions Barcelona came calling for Jasper Cillessen, it is safe to stay the Dutch goalkeeper was stunned, though he is now looking ahead to European glory.

Cillessen joined Barcelona last week, coming in as a replacement for now-Manchester City keeper Claudio Bravo.

And as he settles into life at Camp Nou, Cillessen admitted he was surprised to hear of the LaLiga club’s interest.

“When my agent told me [about Barcelona’s interest] I asked him if it was a joke,” Cillessen told Barca TV.

“[I couldn’t believe that] the best club in the world was interested in me.”

Now, as he vies for the number one role with Marc-Andre ter Stegen, Cillessen said he wants to lead Barca to Champions League victory.

“I want to win titles at Barcelona and I would like to be the goalkeeper that wins the Champions League as a starter,” the 27-year-old added.

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Barcelona

Lyon 0-0 Barcelona: Lionel Messi blanks in Champions League stalemate

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Barcelona were held to a frustrating 0-0 draw at Lyon in their Champions League last-16 first leg as both sides remained undefeated in this season’s competition.

The La Liga leaders dominated the match at the Groupama stadium but lacked accuracy up front and were grateful to their goalkeeper Marc Andre ter Stegen who made two great saves.

Lyon were lively in the first half but ran out of steam after the break and were holding on in the closing stages as Lionel Messi tried in vain to open up the home defence.

The second leg will be at the Nou Camp on March 13.

LYON 0-0 BARCELONA

Lyon XI: Lopes, Dubois, Marcelo, Denayer, Mendy, Traore, Ndombele, Aouar, Terrier, Depay, Dembele.

Subs: Gorgelin, Marcal, Tete, Cheikh, Solet, Cornet, Tousart.

Barcelona XI: ter Stegen, Nelson Semedo, Pique, Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Sergi Roberto, Sergio Busquets, Rakitic, Messi, Suarez, Dembele.

Subs: Pena, Coutinho, Malcom, Murillo, Vidal, Umtiti, Alena.

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Barcelona

Barcelona squad to face Valladolid revealed

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Barcelona have released their line-up that will tackle Valladolid in the La Liga fixture on Saturday night at Camp Nou.

According to Barca Blaugranes, Barcacelona’s coach, Ernesto Valverde released a list of 18 players.

The players include: two goal keepers, five defenders, six midfielders and five forwards.

Goalkeepers: Marc-André ter Stegen, Iñaki Peña

Defenders: Nélson Semedo, Gerard Piqué, Clément Lenglet, Jordi Alba, Thomas Vermaelen

Midfielders: Ivan Rakitic, Sergio Busquets, Philippe Coutinho, Sergi Roberto, Carles Aleñá, Arturo Vidal

Forwards: Luis Suárez, Lionel Messi, Ousmane Dembélé, Malcom, Kevin-Prince Boateng

The kick-off time for the match is 8:45pm.

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Barcelona prepare for Messi exit

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Barcelona president, Josep Maria Bartomeu, has admitted that the club’s recent transfer activity, has been with the retirement of Lionel Messi in mind.

The Spanish champions agreed a £65million deal to sign 21-year-old Ajax midfielder Frenkie De Jong last month, as well as teenage defender Jean-Clair Todibo.

Brazilian duo Arthur (22) and Malcom (21) were also signed in the summer.

Bartomeu says their additions is to prepare the squad for the day that Messi decides to leave.

Speaking to journalist Guillem Balague on BBC Radio Five Live’s Football Daily Podcast, he said: “I know one day Lionel will say he’s retiring.

“We have to prepare the club for the future.

“We are bringing great young players to the team because we need to continue this era of success. That’s our responsibility.

“My mandate will be finished in two seasons. So I need to leave the club in a great position and tell the new president ‘that’s our legacy’.”

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