The season may not quite be over for Martin Braithwaite, as first thought.
The Danish forward was signed from CD Leganés using a rule that applies only to La Liga, which allowed Barcelona to register him outside of the transfer window due to a long-term injury to Ousmane Dembélé. Because of this, he was allowed to play in La Liga only, but not the UEFA Champions League.
With La Liga wrapped up, and only, at most, three more Champions League games left, it was interesting that Braithwaite was called up in the squad that traveled to Lisbon to be part of the last eight of Europe’s premier competition.
While it could be because the team wants Braithwaite training at a high level and ready to start the next season, there is another reason: there is a remote chance he could be called on.
It’s been reported that UEFA has set up special rules given the competition is taking place during the COVID-19 pandemic, which state that teams may use players who are not registered for the Champions League if a large amount of players test positive for the virus.
Barcelona would have to be in a situation in which they could only field 13 players who have not tested positive. And then, the Catalans, or indeed any team in this scenario, would be able to call upon any players who are registered with the national association of their respective country.
An extreme situation, to be sure, but he’s there just in case.