Barcelona star Sergi Roberto has posted an emotional message on social media after coming in for criticism for his performances for the Catalan giants since returning from injury.
Roberto came on as a substitute at half-time of Barcelona’s 3-3 costly draw with Levante on Tuesday but suffered the ignominy of being replaced before the full-time whistle.
Roberto has now taken to Instagram to explain he is having a difficult time currently but will do all he can to get back on track.
“When things go wrong it’s time to get up and do everything to can to change it. I’m going through difficult times, physically and mentally, but I’m convinced that good things will come, with work and positivity as I have always done because I want to go back to enjoy what I like more and especially be at 100% Thank you all for the message of encouragement!!”
Roberto may have played his last game of the season already. Barcelona confirmed after Tuesday’s defeat that the 29-year-old has suffered a thigh injury and is unavailable for selection.
Barca has just two games of the season left to play. Next up is a final home La Liga fixture against Celta Vigo on Sunday before the Catalan giants finish up at Eibar on Sunday, May 23.
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Criticism For Roberto
Roberto has missed large chunks of the season because of physical problems and has managed just nine starts in La Liga in 2020-21. The versatile star can play in a variety of positions but has been used mainly as a right-back or midfielder in recent seasons.
Ronald Koeman’s switch to a 3-5-2 formation has seen Roberto used as a center-back in recent games and the Catalan has found it tough going and has struggled to impress.
Squawka Football’s Muhammad Butt has highlighted Barca’s record with and without Roberto this season.
Sergi Roberto 2020/21:
15 games played in La Liga
meanwhile Barcelona lost just twice in 21 games without him. https://t.co/GYWYYq5VDs
— Muhammad Butt (@muhammadbutt) May 11, 2021
Meanwhile, many fans have taken to social media to criticize the Barcelona star for sub below-par showings.
This is the end for Koeman as a Barça coach and dare I hope the end of Sergi Roberto’s Barça career aswell. Laporta isn’t Bartomeu, he will act. He’s an actual fan and like us, he watches the games and wants what’s best for the team.
— De Ara Torres (@dearatorres) May 11, 2021
Why is Koeman so obsessed with Sergi Roberto? Why? Why will you play him as a CB when he can’t defend … on the same side that you have Dembele, a player who doesn’t defend on? Why? 2 goals in the space of 3 mins all from the same side. Before you realize say e no go work? Why?
— Ko-Jo Cue (@KOJO_Cue) May 11, 2021
I know you shouldn’t hate but even just waking up and realizing Sergi Roberto is still a Barca player hurts.
— PRECIOU$ (@Official_Pr3shI) May 13, 2021
Koeman’s decision to bring on Roberto, rather than a specialized center-back such as Ocar Mingueza, at half-time of Tuesday’s draw at Levante for injured defender Ronald Araujo has been widely criticized. Levante went on to score three times in the second half to secure a draw.
Roberto’s Barcelona Future In Doubt
Barca has a big decision to make regarding Roberto over the summer with the midfielder heading into the final year of his current contract. The club must decide whether to offer a contract renewal or look to offload the 29-year-old.
According to Mundo Deportivo, the player and club are already at odds regarding his future. Barca has offered a one-year contract extension but Roberto would prefer a longer deal.
Roberto could face serious competition for a place in the starting XI next season. Sergino Dest will be looking to nail down the right-back slot, while Barca could bring back Emerson Royal who is currently at Real Betis.
It promises to be an intruiging summer at the Camp Nou with plenty of speculation already around regarding potential ins and outs. Roberto has been with Barca since the age of 14, but there’s no guarantee he will still be at the club next season.
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