Barcelona suffer Iniesta blow

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The Independent Football

Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola fears that Andres Iniesta could miss the Champions League Final against Manchester United later this month.

The midfielder has already been ruled out of Wednesday’s Copa del Rey Final against Atheltic Bilbao after picking up an injury in the 3-3 draw with Villarreal.

The 24-year-old suffered a muscle tear in his right leg but further tests will examine the full extent of the injury.

Guardiola said after the match, which would have seen Barca clinch the title if they had won: “The injury is the bad news of the day. We will have another 11 players ready on Wednesday, but if they suffer a setback too, we will throw in our back-up.

“Destiny has not helped us in this game. A few days ago we had it, but today it has deserted us. But these things happen.

“To play with ten men against a Champions League team forces you to double your efforts, especially in midfield.

“We didn’t have enough gas but the injury to Iniesta is even worse news than not having become league champions.”

Meanwhile, Real Madrid coach Juande Ramos accepted that his side's title hopes were over following a 3-0 defeat at Valencia.

The loss at the Mestalla left Real with little or no chance of overhauling Barcelona, with Ramos telling the club's official website: "We were a solid team up until the last two matches.

"We didn't concede goals and we put together a good streak. There is no explanation for the number of goals we have conceded recently.

"We will see what Barcelona do, but I think winning the league has become very complicated.

"We are professionals and we must win all our remaining matches and work hard. That's all that is left and it's all we can do."

Real's Germany international central defender Christoph Metzelder says he would like to stay at the Bernabeu next season.

The 28-year-old has found first-team opportunities limited since he joined the Spanish giants in the summer of 2007, but has featured in recent weeks due to the lengthy ban handed out to Pepe.

Metzelder told the club's official website: "I want to continue at this club because it's the best in the world and for a player it makes you proud to wear this shirt.

"It's the club's decision and we shall see what happens this summer." Metzelder has made just 18 starts for Real to date, having moved to Spain from Borussia Dortmund just under two years ago.