Eleven Barça players away the week before Liga starts

Messi, amb l'Argentina / FOTO: Arxiu FCB
Sis Barça players are flying to Puerto Rico to play for Spain. Valdés, Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro and Cesc have all been called up by Vicente Del Bosque

Afellay has been picked in Louis van Gaal’s first squad, while Mano Menezes is taking Alves to the friendly between Sweden and Brazil

Messi and Mascherano are also in Sabella’s squad for a game with Germany, and Alexis Sánchez will be crossing the Atlantic for Chile’s game with Ecuador

As many as eleven Barça players are away this week for different international friendlies. Just days before Tito Vilanova makes his official debut as FC Barcelona manager in the Liga opener against Real Sociedad (Sunday 19 at 21.00), he will be forced to prepare with the majority of his probable starting eleven absent.

Messi and Mascherano in Frankfurt

Argentina manager Alejandro Sabella is talking his side to Frankfurt for a friendly with Germany. The South Americans take on the side coached by Joachim Löw on Wednesday 15 at 20.45.

Alves the earliest

There is no rest for Brazil. Most of Mano Menezes’ squad has only just ended their silver-medal winning Olympic campaign, and now head off for Stockholm to face Sweden at the Rasunda Stadium, the historic ground where Pele first amazed the world at the 1958 World Cup, but which is due to be destroyed this year, now that a brand new venue has been completed. Dani Alves will be appearing in the match at 20.00 on August 15.

Six FCB players in Puerto Rico

Vicente Del Bosque has not included either Xavi or Jordi Alba in his team that travels to face Puerto Rico on August 15. But there are six other Barcelona players making the trip, namely Valdés, Piqué, Sergio Busquets, Iniesta, Pedro and Cesc. San Juan will be the venue for the game that kicks off at 22.30 on August 15.

Afellay picked by Louis van Gaal

The former Barcelona manager is back for his second spell in charge of the Dutch national team, and has announced the name of Ibrahim Afellay among his picks for a game with neighbours Belgium in Brussels at 20.45 on August 15.

Alexis in New York

Chile manager Claudio Borghi has picked the Barça striker in his side that is travelling to New York to take on fellow South Americans Ecuador. That will be the last of the midweek internationals with Barcelona interest, and kicks off at 02.00 on August 16.