x

Abu Dhabi, UAEMonday 25 June 2018

WATCH: Paulinho talks of 'dream' at joining Barcelona as Luis Suarez ruled out for a month with knee injury

Brazilian midfielder officially presented to media and supporters after €40 million move from Guangzhou Evergrande.

Paulinho is ready to meet the challenges facing Barcelona this season "with courage" after moving to the Nou Camp for €40 million (Dh172m).

The Catalan giants appear to be on somewhat shaky ground ahead of the new Primera Liga campaign, which for Barca starts against Real Betis on Sunday afternoon.

The shock sale of Neymar to Paris Saint-Germain has shorn Barca of a world-class talent and they are yet to find a replacement, with reportedly advanced negotiations for Philippe Coutinho and Ousmane Dembele not yet complete.

But amid the uncertainty Paulinho, the 29-year-old former Tottenham Hotspur midfielder, has arrived following two years with Chinese club Guangzhou Evergrande, and he is eager to play a stabilising role.

Speaking at his Camp Nou unveiling on Thursday, he said: "You have to face challenges with courage. I will try to do my job and I am prepared.

"Coming here is a dream. It's a very satisfying moment. I will give everything."

Barca's pre-season preparations were further rocked by a 5-1 aggregate defeat to arch-rivals Real Madrid in the Spanish Super Cup.

READ ANDY MITTEN'S PRIMERA LIGA SEASON PREVIEWS:

Real won 3-1 in Barcelona on Sunday and dominated Ernest Valverde's team again in the return leg, with the Spanish media lamenting a lack of incision now that Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez are no longer assisted by Neymar in the frontline.

On social media a number of Barca fans have begun to call for the resignation of club president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who has overseen the modest recruitment drive that has so far brought in Nelson Semedo, Gerard Deulofeu and Paulinho.

Barca's preparations for the start of the new campaign were dealt a further blow as the club confirmed Suarez, will be out of action for around four weeks.

Barcelona's Luis Suarez could be in line for a call-up to Uruguay's staring XI as he continues to recover well from a knee injury. Juan Medina / Reuters
Barcelona's Luis Suarez could be in line for a call-up to Uruguay's staring XI as he continues to recover well from a knee injury. Juan Medina / Reuters

Tests carried out on Thursday morning confirmed that the Uruguayan striker picked up a knee injury in the second half defeat to Real at the Bernabeu, a statement on the club's website said.

The former Liverpool striker is set to miss the games against Betis, Alaves, Espanyol and possibly the trip to Getafe after the international break in early September.

Defender Gerard Pique is also struggling with a groin strain and is a doubt for the game against Betis.