Things went from bad to worse for FC Barcelona on Thursday with the news that striker Luis Suarez will miss the first month of the season with an injury to his right knee.
Suarez picked up the injury during Barca's 0-2 defeat to Real Madrid in the second leg of the Spanish Supercup, which their traditional rivals won 5-1 on aggregate showing clear superiority over the side who should be their main rivals when the Liga kicks off in Spain this weekend, as media reports suggest.
Suarez will now miss Barca's first four league matches of the season, against Betis, Alaves, Espanyol and Getafe and presumably their Champions League debut and Uruguay's World Cup qualifying matches against Argentina and Paraguay.
The loss of the Uruguayan striker could not come at a worse time for Barca coach Ernesto Valverde, given the blow to Barca's confidence following the two Supercup defeats and the failure to so far sign a replacement for Neymar, who joined Paris Saint Germain over the summer.
Thursday did see Barcelona officially present Brazilian midfielder Paulinho Bezzera, who was signed on Monday from Guangzhou Evergrande for 40 million euros.
Many have criticised the high cost of a player who previously struggled to impress at Tottenham Hotspurs in England, but at his presentation, Paulinho insisted he was "not worried about the price they paid for me. I am just thinking about helping the team and I am ready for the challenge."