Rafinha injury update: Barcelona midfielder Rafinha has been ruled out for six months, following a successful operation.
Rafinha tore his left anterior cruciate ligament during the game against Atletico Madrid. The midfielder continued to play in pain, without knowing the extent of the injury.
The severity of the injury was later confirmed, following which the midfielder was operated. Rafinha has now been ruled out, potentially for the rest of the season as he recovers with the problem.
Barcelona came back to the top of the table with a win against Villareal. Gerard Pique scored the first goal in the 35th minute, while Carles Alena scored the second in the closing minutes of the game.
Alena has now been officially included in the first team squad, following his impressive performance. Here’s the full detail:
Rafinha injury update: Alena to replace Rafinha
The 20-year old midfielder will replace Rafinha as he recovers from his injury. Carles Alena has been included in the first-team squad, and will don the number 21 jersey for the club.
Carles Aleñá is the eighth player to wear the No.21 shirt for Barcelona:
2️⃣1️⃣. Óscar García
2️⃣1️⃣. Luis Enrique
2️⃣1️⃣. Lilian Thuram
2️⃣1️⃣. Aleksandr Hleb
2️⃣1️⃣. Dmytro Chygrynskiy
2️⃣1️⃣. André Gomes
2️⃣1️⃣. Carles Aleñá
The start of a new chapter. 📖 pic.twitter.com/YTt09X8ExB
— Squawka Football (@Squawka) December 4, 2018
Alena came through the youth ranks at Barcelona, joining the club in 2005 as a seven-year old. He made his first-team debut for the club in 2016 in the Copa Del Rey tie against Hercules CF, where he scored the equalizer in the game.
Following the news of Rafinha’s successful operation, Carles Aleñá has replaced him in Barça’s registered first team squad in La Liga and will get the number 21. He is now officially officially a first team player and can no longer play for Barça B.
— La Masia (@Youngcules) December 4, 2018
The next year, he played his first La Liga game against Granada CF, coming on as a substitute for Ivan Rakitic. Alena has so far made 5 appearances in the league for the club.
Yesterday a masterclass from Riqui Puig with Barcelona B and today Aleñá’s first goal with the first team. The future is at home. La Masia ALWAYS performs. Nothing of Rabiot. You have to bet on La Masia, YES or YES! [@albert_roge] pic.twitter.com/9OeOfVnq24
— Barça Centre (@barcacentre) December 2, 2018
For Barca B, Alena has played in 90 games, scoring 18 goals.
Aleñá: “Scoring at Camp Nou is a dream come true, I’m very happy. Messi put the ball where I can get it and I was able to score.” pic.twitter.com/wJzPwHhjBG
— Barça Universal (@BarcaUniversal) December 2, 2018
Sergi Roberto also suffered from a hamstring issue in November, which ruled him out for a month.
Aleña now (officially officially) a first team player at Barça following Rafinha injury news. Takes the No. 21 shirt. Goodbye Barça B.
— Samuel Marsden (@samuelmarsden) December 4, 2018
Barcelona, meanwhile, will take on Cultural Leonesa in the round-of-32 tie of the Copa del Rey. They won the first leg 1-0, and will host the side at Camp Nou.