Newly appointed Barcelona technical director Eric Abidal admitted that Andres Iniesta is irreplaceable at Camp Nou but vowed to get the best out of French forward Ousmane Dembele.
Abidal, who made 125 league appearances for the club between 2007 and 2013, replaced Robert Hernandez after the Spaniard's contract expired and will work alongside head coach Ernesto Valverde in the 2018-19 season.
At his presentation to the media, alongside vice-president Jordi Mestre, the former Monaco and Lyon defender paid tribute to Iniesta, who joined Japanese club Vissel Kobe at the end of 2017-18.
"We will make the decisions according to the needs of the team," Abidal told reporters. "But we cannot replace Iniesta with a player of the same quality, that's impossible.
"We want Dembele to have a brilliant World Cup, after that he can rest and then return here.
"We are looking forward to bringing the best out of him."
@EAbidalOfficial : "It's a pleasure to be back at FC Barcelona, it's like my second home. I thank the club for entrusting me with such an important job."— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) June 19, 2018
Abidal refused to be drawn into the discussion about Antoine Griezmann, or whether the club's failure to sign the Frenchman left them searching for other strikers.
Griezmann committed his future to Atletico Madrid shortly before the World Cup, ending weeks of speculation over a possible move to Barcelona.
"Griezmann's decision is his and I do not want to enter this debate. The most important thing is the planning of next season and the future of the team.
"We will have to talk internally. I talked to Valverde but we did not talk about players because he was on vacation."
|Lewis rekindles fond memories with Vilamoura triumph|
|Arsenal 2 Everton 0: Lacazette, Aubameyang extend winning streak|
|Stephens suffers as Osaka withdraws in Wuhan|
|Rhinos run riot to secure Super League status|
|Risk brings reward for victorious Marquez|
|Let´s have some fun - Wentz tweets message to Eagles fans ahead of return|
|Maybe in a year Chelsea will be at Liverpool´s level – Sarri|
|Under-pressure Rodgers bemoans ´bitty´ Celtic start|
|Slater should be banned for Grand Final - Fittler|
|Simon ends Bachinger fairytale to lift Metz title|
|Dominant Thiem reigns in St. Petersburg|
|Neymar hands young fan his shirt during Paris Saint-Germain victory|
|Quick-Step Floors storm to fourth time trial gold|
|Jorginho sets new passing record in West Ham draw|
|Rubiales slams ´crazy´ LaLiga schedule|
|Rennes 1 Paris Saint-Germain 3: Tuchel´s Ligue 1 record stays perfect|
|Why so serious? Joshua reveals Fury has blocked him on Twitter|
|West Ham 0 Chelsea 0: Sarri´s 100 per cent start comes to frustrating end|
|Marvellous Marquez reigns in Aragon yet again|
|Real Madrid will not go to the USA with LaLiga - Perez|
|Erasmus adds five players to Springboks squad|
|Barcelona snub ´hardest decision´ of Griezmann´s career|
|Perez pays tribute to Ronaldo and Zidane|
|Cazorla concedes Arsenal lacked self-belief under Wenger|
|Get King Kong for AJ! Joshua understands critics´ demands|
|Korea change sees Bertens take title in Seoul|
|I love Bilic, but I let him down – Arnautovic|
|He will never fight me! Fury hits out at ´ponderous´ Joshua|
|Azpilicueta convinced Hazard can be ´the best´|
|Wigglesworth´s career in Opta numbers as he breaks Premiership record|
|Ronaldo has nothing to prove, says Allegri|
|Federer shines as Europe hold narrow lead at Laver Cup|
|Astros, Yankees and Indians record dramatic wins|
|Pliskova too strong for Osaka in Tokyo final|
|Kyle Busch comes from behind to win again in Virginia|
|Dybala can play as a striker – Allegri|
|Pochettino never doubts ´special´ Kane|
|NASCAR results at Richmond: Kyle Busch comes from behind to win again in Virginia|
|McIlroy just worried about himself at Tour Championship|
|MLS Review: Atlanta stay clear of Red Bulls|
|Rose reminds everyone Woods has been here before|
|Cronk in doubt for Grand Final due to ´severe´ shoulder injury|
|Timberwolves sign Towns to extension|
|Hearn wants Wilder for Joshua, not ´un-entertaining´ Fury|
|Woods pleased with putting consistency|
|Ballon d´Or not a focus for Asensio|
|Man City star Mendy revels in Joshua triumph|
|Braves clinch first NL East title since 2013|
|I want Wilder, says Joshua|
|Inter must live on the edge to win, says jubilant Spalletti|
|Woods leads by three at Tour Championship|
|Bordeaux end Clermont´s perfect start, Zebo at double in Racing win|
|Lopetegui not worried about Courtois footwork|
|Joshua finds emphatic answer to Povetkin challenge|
|BREAKING NEWS: Brutal Joshua knocks out Povetkin in seventh round|
|Real Madrid can´t win 5-0 every week - Varane|
|Al Ahly 4 Horoya 0 (4-0 agg): Egyptian giants reach CAF Champions League semi-finals|
|Kings upset Warriors, Leinster batter Edinburgh|
|Son committed to Tottenham amid Bayern links|
|Simeone hails Atleti´s best LaLiga display of the season|
|Kovac: Bayern ´dominated´ Schalke in 2-0 win|
|Pochettino unimpressed with Tottenham´s tense finish|
|Campbell gains revenge as Price is halted by injury|
|Tottenham fatigue rumours are a myth, claims Rose|
|Widnes defiant after Super League relegation, Saints outclass Wolves|
|NFL must go back to college to eradicate the tie|
|Real Madrid 1 Espanyol 0: Asensio downs old club to earn narrow win|
|Sampdoria 0 Inter 1: Brozovic wins it late after VAR takes centre stage|
|Rudy takes blame for James goal in Bayern win|
|Tiger charges into four-shot lead|