Barcelona coach Frank Rijkaard has defended his decision to name Marc Crosas in his squad for today's Liga opener against Racing Santander ahead of Thiago Motta.

"I always must choose the players, and I have considered things position to position. When I have two options for a position, I must choose an option," explained Rijkaard.

"Crosas has worked hard in preseason. Thiago also, but this is how things have fallen. I have chosen this team list."

Rijkaard added: "Yes, we are one of the favorites for the Liga. But we must work hard to demonstrate it on the field every day."