Barcelona youngster Juan Miranda has revealed that he received messages of support from the senior players at the club before making his Champions League debut in the 1-1 draw with Tottenham Hotspur.
With Barcelona having already secured a top spot in their group, manager Ernesto Valverde opted to rest several of his star players. Left-back Jordi Alba was one of those to be rested, and 18-year-old Miranda was given his debut in the tournament in Alba's absence.
Miranda revealed: "They told me to relax, to be myself. With these players, everything is easier. [Messi] told me to enjoy the moment."
He enjoyed an impressive Champions League debut, despite conceding a late equaliser as Lucas Moura scored to ensure Tottenham's qualification to the knockout stages of the tournament. After the game, Miranda admitted he will work hard to continue to progress as a player.
He said: "Camp Nou is a huge and impressive stadium. I wanted to do everything well, but it's true not everything came off. I will keep working hard with the B team. Jordi Alba is very good and has a long career left ahead of him."
Miranda has now made three appearances for Barcelona, having already featured in the Copa del Rey earlier in the season. He was part of the Barcelona Under-19 side who won the UEFA Youth League last season, and is regarded as a potential future member of the senior side.
He is currently behind Alba in the pecking order at the Camp Nou. However, Alba has been heavily linked with a move to Manchester United, with his contract expiring in 18 months, meaning there may be more opportunities for Miranda in the future.