Barcelona's Gerard Deulofeu calls Chapecoense players 'heroes'
Gerard Deulofeu paid tribute to Chapecoense's "heroes" after making his case for a first team spot with a goal and two assists in Barcelona's 5-0 win against the Brazilian side on Monday.
Deulofeu scored the opening goal of the Joan Gamper Trophy match and then set up Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi before being taken off at half-time.
But the match was more memorable for the presence of Alan Ruschel, who captained Chapecoense as he made his first appearance since surviving the plane crash which killed 71 people last November as the club travelled to Colombia for the Copa Sudamericana final.
Fellow survivors Neto and Jackson Follmann were also present at Camp Nou and took an honorary kick off moments before the game got underway.
"To be honest it was an incredible experience playing here against Chapecoense," Deulofeu told reporters after the game.
"It was emotional. They deserve to be here and to have had this wonderful day. They are heroes. If you think about what happened to them it brings you to tears."
Deulofeu, who returned to Barca from Everton for €12 million this summer, said it was a "pleasure" to be back and set his sights on a starting berth in Sunday's Super Cup clash with Real Madrid.
Barca coach Ernesto Valverde, though, wouldn't reveal if the winger will be tasked with taking Neymar's place against Madrid at the weekend.
"He's a good option for us, a player who can run at defences and who has pace," Valverde said in his post game news conference.
"Is he ready for the Super Cup? I think we are all ready for it. I can't tell you if he will play, but he's a quick player and we will look at our options.
"We're going into the Clasico in good form. We have prepared all preseason for it, so we hope to arrive in good form and take that forward, but we have to recognise the level of the rival, too."
And asked about the chances of Liverpool's Philippe Coutinho or Borussia Dortmund's Ousmane Dembele arriving with the Neymar money, Valverde was also very guarded.
"We will see if there are new players," he added. "We already know that all clubs move up until the end of the transfer window. We know there are things we can change...
"But I am focused on what I have. Talking about what could be is absurd, throwing names in the air and seeing what falls."
Samuel Marsden covers Barcelona for ESPN FC. Follow him on Twitter @SamuelMarsden.