After 29 days, the Brazilian has finally managed to put his ankle injury behind him
After getting injured against Getafe, he has missed eight official matches
The Brazilian magic is back. Neymar Jr was declared fully fit following the Friday training session and has been included in the provisional squad to face Rayo Vallecano at the Camp Nou on Saturday evening (8.00 PM CET, GolT and Canal+ Liga).
It’s the first time he has appeared in the squad since spraining his right ankle against Getafe 29 days ago, during which time he has been forced to sit out eight first team matches.
During his time away from duty, Neymar Jr has celebrated his first birthday as a Barça player, visited the club museum and appeared on the cover of Japan’s ‘Zone’ magazine.
With the squad since Monday
The Brazilian superstar has been training with the squad since Monday, but only today was it finally confirmed that he would be fit to play, if picked, against Rayo Vallecano.
Neymar has played 25 games this season, scoring 11 goals. FC Barcelona have won 18 of the games in which he has featured, while drawing five and losing just two, against Ajax and Athletic Bilbao.
The other side of the Spanish Cup semi final
Don’t miss the other side of the Spanish Cup match between Real Sociedad and FC Barcelona.
Cup finalists FC Barcelona flew back from San Sebastian this morning and then trained at the Ciutat Esportiva
The first team flew back from San Sebastian this morning and then trained at the Ciutat Esportiva
Neymar, who has not yet been declared fit, exercised with the rest of the team
Straight from San Sebastian to the Ciutat Esportiva. That was Thursday morning for cup finalists FC Barcelona, who started a post-match recovery session at 12.35.
On a windy day, the squad were joined by Neymar as he nears full recovery from injury. Carles Puyol, who was declared fit on Tuesday, was able to train normally.
FC Barcelona will train again on Friday morning at 11.00, with their minds now turning to the league fixture with Rayo Vallecano (Saturday at 8.00 PM CET, Gol T and Canal + Liga) at the Camp Nou. Around 12.30 PM CET on Friday, manager Gerardo Martino will be giving a press conference.
FC Barcelona completed 969 of their 1058 pass attempts against Real Sociedad (91.5%)
Barça’s passing game was at its brilliant best on Wednesday night at Anoeta. They reached the Cup Final on the back of an astonishing 72% of the possession against Real Sociedad, while also completing 969 of their massive 1058 pass attempts (91.5%). Real completed 266 of their mere 362 passes (71.5%). Here we look at some other stats from the game.
Midfielders Busquets, Xavi, Cesc, Iniesta and Song completed 490 of their 518 pass attempts at Anoeta, i.e. 94.5%.
It was only the second time this season that Martino fielded Busquets, Xavi, Cesc, Iniesta and Messi together. The other occasion was against Real Madrid in the league.
Over the two legs, Barça completed 1,776 passes and shot 37 times, while Real made 423 passes and had 8 shots.
Busquets and Piqué won the most balls last night (11).
Messi is now the top goalscorer in the Spanish Cup 2013/14, with 5 goals.
The two finalists, Barça and Real Madrid, have both won seven games and drawn one en route to the final.
Barça v Real Madrid will now equal Barça v Athletic Bilbao as the most repeated final pairing, with seven editions each.
The first meeting between the two clubs in a Cup Final was in 1935-36 and the last was just two years ago in 2010-11
The record is three wins each
On April 19, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid will once again be meeting in the Spanish Cup Final. It will be seventh time this has happened, and to date the two clubs have won three finals each against their biggest rivals.
1935-36 Season. Real Madrid v FC Barcelona (2-1)
Venue: Mestalla (Valencia)
Real Madrid: Zamora, Ciriaco, Quincoces, P. Regueiro, Bonet, Souto, Eugenio, L. Regueiro, Sañudo, Lecue, Emilín.
FC Barcelona: Iborra, Areso, Bayo, Argemí, Franco, Balmanya, Vantolrà, Raich, Escolà, Fernández, Munlloch.
Referee: Ostalé Gómez.
Goals: 1-0, Eugenio (6’); 2-0, Lecue (12’); 2-1, Escolà (29’).
1967-68 Season. Real Madrid v FC Barcelona (0-1)
Venue: Santiago Bernabéu (Madrid)
Real Madrid: Betancort, Miera, Zunzunegui, Sanchís, Pirri, Zoco, Serena, Amancio, Grosso, José Luis, Pérez.
FC Barcelona: Sadurní, Torres, Gallego, Eladio, Zabalza, Fusté, Rifé, Zaldúa, Mendonça, Pereda, Rexach.
Referee: Rigo Sureda.
Goal: Zunzunegui (min.6, own goal).
1973-74 Season. Real Madrid v FC Barcelona (4-0)
Venue: Vicente Calderón (Madrid)
Real Madrid: Miguel Ángel, José Luis (Touriño, 83’), Benito, Rubiñán, Pirri, Grosso (Zoco, 83’), Aguilar, Del Bosque, Santillana, Velázquez, Macanás.
FC Barcelona: Sadurní, Rifé, Gallego, De la Cruz, Juan Carlos, Costas, Rexach, Juanito, Clares, Asensi (Martí Filosia, 56’), Marcial.
Referee: Sánchez Ríos.
Goals: 1-0, Santillana (5’); 2-0, Rubiñán (46’); 3-0, Aguilar (50’); 4-0, Pirri (82’).
1982-83 Season. FC Barcelona v Real Madrid (2-1)
Vanue La Romareda (Zaragoza)
FC Barcelona: Urruti, Sánchez, Migueli, Gerardo, Julio Alberto, Víctor, Schuster, Esteban (Morán, 80’), Marcos, Maradona, Carrasco.
Real Madrid: Miguel Ángel, San José, Bonet, Metgod, Camacho, Ángel, Gallego, Stielike, Salguero, Juanito (Isidro, 74’), Santillana.
Referee: García Carrión.
Goals: 1-0, Víctor (31’); 1-1, Santillana (50’); 2-1, Marcos (89’).
1989-90 Season. FC Barcelona v Reial Madrid (2-0)
Venue Lluís Casanova (Valencia)
FC Barcelona: Zubizarreta, Aloisio (Serna, 27’), Alexanko, Koeman, Amor (Soler, 70’), Bakero, Salinas, Eusebio, Laudrup, Robert, Begiristain.
Reial Madrid: Buyo, Chendo, Gordillo, Hierro, Sanchís, Ruggeri, Butrageño (J. Llorente, 63’), Míchel (Aldana, 77’), Martín Váquez, Hugo Sánchez, Schuster.
Referee García de Loza.
Goals: 1-0, Amor (68’); 2-0, Salinas (90’).
2010-11 Season. FC Barcelona v Real Madrid (0-1)
Venue: Mestalla (Valencia)
FC Barcelona: Pinto, Alves, Piqué, Mascherano, Adriano (Maxwell, 119’), Sergio Busquets (Keita, 108’), Xavi, Iniesta, Pedro, Messi, Villa (Afellay, 106’).
Real Madrid: Casillas, Arbeloa, Ramos, Carvalho (Garay, 119’), Marcelo, Pepe, Xabi Alonso, Khedira (Granero,103’), Di María, Cristiano Ronaldo, Özil (Adebayor, 70’).
Referee: Undiano Mallenco.
Goal: 0-1, Cristiano Ronaldo (103’).