Andreas Christensen was forced to withdraw from Barcelona’s final pre-season game against Pumas just minutes before kick-off with a neck problem on Sunday.
The defender arrived at the Nou Camp earlier this summer after leaving Chelsea at the end of last season and has featured regularly in pre-season for his new club.
However, he was unable to take his place on the pitch in the Joan Gamper Cup and Barcelona explained the reason for his absence on Twitter.
He was presented on the pitch alongside his teammates ahead of Sunday’s match
“Player Andreas Christensen will not play in today’s match due to neck discomfort,” the club wrote on Sunday evening.
Barcelona won 6–0 against the Mexican opposition, with Robert Leëandoëski scoring his first goal for the club and Pedri netting a brace.
Christensen was named on the bench but he was not used by Xavi as Barcelona cruised to a comprehensive victory.
He was then ruled out just moments before kick-off, with Barcelona explaining his absence
It is not the first time Christensen has made himself unavailable shortly before a game as he also pulled out of Chelsea’s FA Cup final against Liverpool on the day of the match in May.
Thomas Tuchel initially hinted that the centre-back had refused to play as he entered the final weeks of his contract at Stamford Bridge, but he later said: “I don’t think he didn’t want to play, he wasn’t able to play. . It’s a big change.”
This ‘illness’ of Christensen is a blow for him, with the Spanish season starting in the next few days.
Barcelona are scheduled to play Rayo Vallecano in their league opener on Saturday, and the 26-year-old now faces a race against time to get back fit before that game.