Double session completed

Ivan Rakitic in training on Friday / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Vermaelen takes part in the second session of the day after the birth of his child

Jérémy Mathieu misses training with a cold

The first team have completed their first double session of training this Friday since returning from the United States. After working with 25 players earlier in the day, 23 players were present in the session later on Friday.

Thomas Vermaelen missed the morning session due to the birth of his child but returned for the later session and was received with applause from his team mates. In contrast Jérémy Mathieu was missing due to a cold. Samper and Gumbau also were absent in the second session of the day with both players rejoining Gerard López’s B squad. The injured Douglas and Arda Turan continued with their respective recoveries from injury.

The team will train once again on Saturday at 9.30am CET in what will be their final session before heading off to Italy for Sunday’s clash with Fiorentina in the Artemio Franchi Stadium.

Fifty facts from fifty years of the Joan Gamper Trophy

Ronaldinho makes his debut at thel Camp Nou in 2003 / FCB ARCHIVE
We pick the highlights from half a century of FC Barcelona’s traditional season-opener

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 1. In the summer of 1966, Barça president Enric Llaudet decided to start a summer tournament named after the club’s founder: Joan Gamper.

 2. The first edition of the Joan Gamper featured FC Barcelona, Anderlecht, Cologne and Nantes.

 3. The first ever Barça line-up in the Gamper was: Reina, Benítez, Gallego, Eladio, Montesinos, Torres, Rifé (Seminario, 44), Muller, Zaldúa, Fusté (Vidal, 44) and Zaballa.

  4. Barça beat Cologne 3-1 in the first final. Ricard Gamper, the founder’s son, presented the trophy to the winning team.

 5. Until 1975, the trophy was known as the Juan Gamper, but in 1976 its name was changed to the Catalan form: Joan Gamper.

 6. FC Barcelona have won the Gamper trophy 37 times.

 7. The only other team to have won it more than once is Cologne, who won it in 1978 and 1981).

 8. Tenerife (1993) and Valencia (1994) are the only Spanish teams to have ever won the Gamper.

 9. The guests are usually sides from outside of la Liga, but Spanish teams that also had the chance to win it were Atlético Madrid and Real Zaragoza, who both lost to Barça in the finals of 1967 and 1969 respectively.

 10. Újpest Dosza, Borussia Mönchengladbach, Internacional de Porto Alegre, Porto, Racing Malinas, Juventus, Manchester City and Sampdoria have all won the title once.

 11. Until 1996 it was a four-team event played over two days with two semi-finals, a third and fourth place match and a final. From 1997 it has been a single match.

 12. The biggest winning margin in the final just two years ago. Barça won 8-0 against Santos in 2013.

 13. But the semi-final against Boca Juniors in 1984 ended 9-1 to Barça.

 14. Barça’s heaviest defeat was 5-0 to Dynamo Moscow in the 1970 semi-finals. The Russians’ goalkeeper that day was the legendary Lev Yashin.

 15. Barça’s biggest loss in a final was 4-0 to Cologne in 1981.

 16. The most unproductive FC Barcelona display was that of 1972 when they lost 2-0 in the semi-final against CSKA Sofia and then drew 0-0 for third place with Vasco de Gama.

 17. The most goals in a final came in 1968 when FC Barcelona won 5-4 against Flamengo. 

18. The 1990 and 1996 editions were both played at the Olympic Stadium, Montjuïc, because the Camp Nou turf was being replaced at those times.

 19. San Lorenzo was invited to the Gamper twice in a row, in 1995 and 1996, and finished second and fourth respectively.

 20. The biggest crowd for a Gamper match was that of 1982, when 110,000 people came to see the third and fourth place playoff. The reason? The chance to see Maradona again.

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 21. The lowest attendance was for Barça v Santos in 1998 (2-2). Only 15,000 people came to see Barça win the game on penalties.

 22. In 2008, Barça came from 1-0 behind against Boca Juniors to score two goals in second half injury time, converted by Puyol (92) and Eto’o (94).

 23. Barça’s first goal in the Joan Gamper was scored by Fusté in the semi-final of the first edition. Anderlecht were the opposition in 1966.

 24. That last Barça goal was scored by Sandro in the 6-0 defeat of León Guanajuato last year.

 25. Barça’s top scorers are Asensi, Begiristain and Stoichkov, who scored seven goals each in the tournament.

 26. Fusté and Marcial scored six each.

 27. Neeskens and Krankl got five.

 28. Next come Rexach, Clares, Archibald, Koeman, Romario, Jordi Cruyff, Òscar and Messi with four.

 29. From the current squad, the top scorers are Messi (4) and Iniesta (3).

 30. Three goals were also scored by Mendoça, Sotil, Cruyff, Simonsen, Carrasco, Schuster, Roberto, Eto’o and Cesc.

 31. Four Barça players have scored hat-tricks in the match: Marcial (final of 1974), Stoitchkov (semi-final of 1992), Romario (semi-final of 1993) and Òscar (final of 1995).

 32. Some of the biggest stars in the visiting teams have included: Overath, Maier, Beckenbauer, Müller, Yashin, Tostao, Allofs, Matthäus, Rummenigge, Tassotti, Baresi, Maldini, Gullit, Rijkaard, Bergkamp, Deschamps, Papin, Zanetti, Djorkaeff, Verón, Klinsmann, Cafú, Costacurta, Gattusso, Rui Costa, Del Piero, Pirlo and Inzaghi.

 33. The first big-name star to make his debut in the competition was Sotil, and it was against his former club, Municipal Lima, in 1973. “Cholo” scored a goal that day too.

 34. Cruyff did not play in that 1973 Gamper because he had only just signed for the club and arrived the day after the final.

 35. Dutchman Johan Neeskens was presented to the fans at the Gamper 74 in a game against the club he had just left, Ajax.

 36. Four years later, in 1978, Austrian striker Hans Krankl did likewise, making his Camp Nou debut against his former team, Rapid Vienna.

 37. The next year, Danish star Simonsen scored twice in his debut against FC Zurich.

 38. Argentina’s Diego Armando Maradona, the most famous player in the world at the time, played his first game at the Camp Nou in the 1982 edition of the Joan Gamper.

39. The duo of foreign superstars, Ronald Koeman and Michael Laudrup, wore the famous FCB jersey for the first time against Sochaux in 1989.

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 40. The next year it was the turn of a relatively unknown Bulgarian striker called Hristo Stoichkov, who was introduced to the fans before the game with Spartak Moscow.

 41. At the Gamper 1993, Brazilian star Romario scored a hat-trick against Hajduk Split in his very first game at the Camp Nou.

 42. Ronaldo was presented to the Barça fans at the Gamper 1996, but not at the Camp Nou. The Olympic Stadium, Montjuïc, was the venue for the game with San Lorenzo.

 43. A year later, Rivaldo debuted at the Camp Nou against Sampdoria. 

 44. Continuing the theme of Brazilians, in 2003 it was the turn of Ronaldinho in a game with Boca Juniors.

 45. Eto’o played his first game for Barça at the Camp Nou in 2004 versus AC Milan.

46. Leo Messi performed extraordinarily against Juventus in 2005, the night the world realised that an absolute superstar was in the making.

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 47. Yet another Brazilian to make his start for Barça in a Gamper match was Neymar, against his former club Santos in 2013.

 48. The 2004 match was preceded by the unfurling of a giant Catalan flag that covered the whole pitch and which the Guinness Book of Records recognised as the largest flag ever.

 49. The 49 editions of the Joan Gamper have produced 142 matches.

50. Seventeen of the games have gone to penalties, eight times involving FC Barcelona, who have a 5-3 winning record in shootouts.

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The best football is back! The 50th Joan Gamper Trophy! #FCBlive

50th Joan Gamper Trophy
The game with AS Roma on Wednesday 5 August is the Camp Nou’s first chance to watch Barça 2015/16 in action

Football at it’s very best! The Joan Gamper Trophy on Wednesday 5 August at 10.00pm CET is the first chance for the Camp Nou to see the team in action since winning the historic second treble last season. The opposition is one of the most historic sides from Italian football, AS Roma, who finished second in Serie A last term.  The 50th edition of the Gamper promises to be a wonderful chance to see the beautiful game at its most beautiful

Brazilians and Argentinians train with the squad

Luis Suárez and Neymar Jr train with the team / MIGUEL RUIZ-FCB
Mascherano, Messi, Alves and Neymar join the group for on Friday monrning and working out separately the evening before

There was another Barça training session on Friday morning at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. The squad is now almost fully complete, with Javier Mascherano, Leo Messi, Dani Alves and Neymar Jr there after returning on Thursday and doing their medicals in the morning and training separately in the evening with Rafel Pol and Edu Pons. This morning they re-joined the rest of their team-mates.

That made for 25 players in all. From the first team, Thomas Vermaelen was given special permission to be absent because he is about to become a father, and Douglas did physiotherapy separately. They were joined by Samper and Gumbau of the B team.

The team will train for a second time on Friday evening as they prepare for thre next game, the tip to Florence on Sunday (kick off 9.00pm CET).

Athletic Club v FC Barcelona Spanish Super Cup first leg ticket applications from 3 August

Spanish Super Cup ticket applications from 3 August. / FCB INFOGRAPHIC
The members-only application process must be completed online before Tuesday 4 August

Beginning on Monday 3 August, FC Barcelona members can fill out the registration form to request tickets for the first leg of the Spanish Super Cup at San Mamés. The process will be open until Tuesday 4 August.

The first-leg match at Athletic Club will be played on Friday 14 August at 10.00pm CET. The application process is exclusive to Club members and may only be completed through the Club’s website,

575 tickets

For this match, FC Barcelona has a total of 575 tickets on sale. As usual, 85% of them will be distributed among members (391) and supporters clubs (98). The remaining tickets (86) will go to the club’s institutional commitments.

Ticket prices are from 45 to 50 euros. If there are more applications than tickets, there will be a draw on 6 August. Those chosen would be charged and notified on 6 and 7 August and ticket pick-up will be on 10, 11 and 12 August.

An initial amount of 45 euros will be charged to reserve each ticket with the difference due, where applicable, when tickets are picked up. The desired zone of the stadium must also be chosen at pick-up.

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