Valverde, Busquests Show Support For Struggling Gomes

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Andre Gomes was "brave" to open up about his problems at Barcelona, according to coach Ernesto Valverde, while Sergio Busquets has sympathised with his team-mate's troubles.

In an extraordinary interview, Gomes told Spanish magazine Panenka he is not enjoying life at Barcelona, where a lack of form has made his life "a kind of hell".

Gomes suggested he has felt unable to leave his house because of feeling unsettled at the LaLiga leaders, with the midfielder having been booed during a win over title rivals Atletico Madrid earlier this month.

Valverde praised Gomes for being honest about his issues on and off the pitch and said the interview would not affect his selection plans.

"It's nothing new in football, this happens a lot," Valverde told a news conference ahead of Wednesday's Champions League clash at home to Chelsea. "It's brave to come out say he is struggling at the moment.

"Whether he'll play or not tomorrow is down to me. He has a lot of qualities and we will get a chance to see them tomorrow.

"It's down to the player to go out there and work hard to show his qualities. It is down to the fans to support him, but he also has to earn that support."

Busquets confirmed his fellow Barcelona team-mates are doing as much as they can to support Gomes - who joined the club from Valencia in 2016 - during his troubles at the club.

"We knew about it a little bit, but we are colleagues and we are trying to be with him," Busquets said. 

"But he is the one that experiences it and takes it home. The fans, we have to be positive and try to help him to achieve important things.

"We are doing well but it is not good that he is feeling like this. We all try to go in the same direction. 

"At the end of the day we are at Barcelona, where there is so much going on. Individually each person is setting goals.

"This proves that we are all people, we all have our concerns and some deal better with it than others.

"To be successful you need a combination of everything, but I am not saying that he is not ready."