Sergi Roberto names Barcelona teammate as ‘best player on the pitch’ vs Napoli

Barcelona captain Sergi Roberto has tonight moved to lavish praise on an up-and-coming member of the club’s squad.

As much, of course, comes fresh off a night to remember for Barca on the continent.

On the back of a 1-1 first leg stalemate, Xavi and co. on Tuesday welcomed Serie A champions Napoli to Catalunya, with a spot in the quarter-finals of the Champions League on the line.

And, when all was said and done, march on to the final eight is precisely what the Blaugrana managed.

This came courtesy of an eventual 3-1 victory, owing to goals on the part of Fermín López, João Cancelo, and Robert Lewandowski.

And yet, post-match, it is not those to have made the difference for Barcelona in the attacking third who have taken the majority of the plaudits.

Instead, as much has gone the way of a member of the club’s defensive core – Pau Cubarsí.

Stopper Cubarsí was afforded his first-ever appearance in Europe tonight, featuring from the off at the heart of Barca’s backline.

And the Spaniard, still just 17 years of age, went on to enjoy a stellar evening’s work, despite being tasked with keeping tabs on one of the continent’s very best frontmen, in Victor Osimhen.

Handed the Man of the Match award for his efforts, Cubarsí, in turn, was afforded a special shoutout amidst the post-match comments of captain Sergi Roberto.

Speaking to the media following the full-time whistle at Montjuïc, Roberto labelled his young teammate ‘a once in a lifetime player’, in explaining:

“Cubarsí was the best player on the pitch. He never fails to surprise us. Champions League round of 16 and he plays like this… He’s a once in a lifetime player. He’s hardworking and comes from La Masia. It’s an honor.”

Conor Laird | GSFN

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