LIVE / Ivan Rakitic and Luis Enrique press conference

Luis Enrique and Rakitic
Ivan Rakitic and Luis Enrique pre-game press conference ahead APOEL FC-FC Barcelona (Champions League)

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FC Barcelona arrive in Cyprus

Piqué and Alves are among the travelling party / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE
After almost four hours in the air, the first team’s flight landed in Larnaca at around 1.00 PM CET

The FC Barcelona first team have arrived in Cyprus for Tuesday’s Champions League match with APOEL. The flight to Larnaca left El Prat Airport at 9.15 AM CET and touched down at around 1.00 PM CET. The 22 players named by Luis Enrique were then transferred to Nicosia, which lies some 50 km to the north.

The travelling party is being led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who’s joined by vice-president Javier Faus directors Silvio Elías, Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca and Pau Vilanova, and director of sport Andoni Zubizarreta.

Luis Enrique and Ivan Rakitic will be giving a press conference at 5.15 PM CET, and then at 6.00 PM CET the players will train in the same stadium that will be holding the game on Tuesday evening at 8.45 PM CET.

Words from Zubi

Director of sport Andoni Zubizarreta had a few words to say to the media before boarding the plane. Discussing last Saturday’s 5-1 win against Sevilla, he said that “it was a very demanding opponent. Emery’s team always work hard on tactics but we played well in attack and especially well in defence, creating pressure high up the pitch. We played well in that less visible area and reacted well to their equaliser.”

Asked about Thomas Vermaelen not being named to the squad, he commented that “during the international break he had ten good days and was happy, but on Sunday he had some trouble and we decided it would better if he didn’t travel.”

And on the subject of being jeered during the video to congratulate Messi in the stadium, Zubizarreta said that “one has to be modest and accept criticism.”

The trip to Cyprus, as seen by the players

Neymar and Alves
The first team players’ view of the flight to Larnaca

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FC Barcelona head for Cyprus

Pedro is among the travelling players / PHOTO: FCB ARCHIVE
The first team’s flight to Larnaca left El Prat Airport at 9.15 AM CET

The FC Barcelona first team have departed for Cyprus for Tuesday’s Champions League match with APOEL. The flight to Larnaca left El Prat Airport at 9.15 00 PM. The 22 players named by Luis Enrique are expected to reach their destination at around 12.50 PM CET, from where they will be transferred to Nicosia, which lies some 50 km to the north.

The travelling party is being led by president Josep Maria Bartomeu, who’s joined by vice-president Javier Faus directors Silvio Elías, Josep Ramon Vidal-Abarca and Pau Vilanova, and director of sport Andoni Zubizarreta.

Luis Enrique and Ivan Rakitic will be giving a press conference at 5.15 PM CET, and then at 6.00 PM CET the players will train in the same stadium that will be holding the game on Tuesday evening at 8.45 PM CET.

Busy week with trips to Nicosia and Valencia

Barça have two big games this week / PHOTO: MIGUEL RUIZ - FCB
The first team has Champions League and Liga fixtures this week

Barça have their fifth Champions League group stage fixture in Cyprus against APOEL this week. They fly to Nicosia on Monday and the buld-up will include the typical training session at the match venue and press conferences by the manager and a player.

Valencia await

They’ll have a day off on Wedneasday, but thenattention turns to Sunday evening’s Liga game at Mestalla. The players will be travelling south on the same day as the match, and those not included in the squad will train in the morning at the Ciutat Esportiva.

Barça first team schedule:

Monday 24
08.10 AM CET: Trip to Nicosia (Cyprus)
7.00 PM CET: Training for players travelling to Nicosia.

Tuesday 25
8.45 PM CET: APOEL v FC Barcelona, fifth  UEFA Champions League group stage game.

Wednesday 26
Day off

Thursday 27
10.30 AM CET: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

Friday 28
11.00 AM CET: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

Saturday 29
11.00 AM CET: Training at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper.

Sunday 30
10.15 AM CET: Trip to Valencia.
9.00 PM CET: Valencia v FC Barcelona, game thirteen in the Liga BBVA.

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