By 90Min
August 08, 2017

Gerard Deulofeu has hailed the 'heroes' of Chapecoense after facing off against the Brazilian side in the Joan Gamper Trophy on Monday night. 

The Catalan giants chose the Brazilian side as the opponents in their traditional season opener after last year's tragic plane crash, which saw 19 members of the club's squad die along with a number of club officials. 

Speaking after the game, in which he scored the opening goal and set up further strikes for Sergio Busquets and Lionel Messi, Deulofeu said: "To be honest it was an incredible experience playing here against Chapecoense.

"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."

Chapecoense left-back Alan Ruschel played the first 35 minutes of the game, his first appearance since surviving the crash, going off to a standing ovation. Fellow survivors Jackson Follmann and Neto also appeared on the pitch before the match, as the Camp Nou paid tribute to them.

Barcelona coach Valverde was quizzed on Deulofeu's future role in the team after the game, saying: "He's a good option for us, a player who can run at defences and who has pace. 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."

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