Despite missing out on the team’s first friendly of the summer, Messi finished the pre-season as the team’s highest goalscorer ahead of Dani Alves, Deulofeu and Alexis, all of whom finished the pre-season with two goals apiece.
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.
1. DYNAMO VS FC BARCELONA HIGHLIGHTS
2. MANCHESTER UNITED VS FC BARCELONA HIGHLIGHTS
3. UNITED VS BARÇA: THE EUROPEAN CLASSIC MATCH
4. INIESTA: “IT’S OUR RESPONSIBILITY TO KEEP THIS WORKING”
5. GAMPER’S BARÇA TOONS
6. ABIDAL’S FRENCH TRIBUTE
7. EDMILSON’S INTERVIEW
8. GIRONA’S TRAINING SESSION
The internationals are due back in Barcelona on Thursday
The Liga is right around the corner and FC Barcelona are scheduled to kick off the 2012/13 Liga at the Camp Nou against Real Sociedad next Sunday, August 19, at 21.00. Before this weekend’s match, however, many FC Barcelona players will feature in mid-week international friendlies.
A total of 11 first-team players have been named to their respective national teams for the upcoming international friendlies. Therefore, Tito Vilanova will only be able to work with 11 players on Tuesday morning: Puyol, Xavi, Villa, Pinto, Jordi Alba, Adriano, Dos Santos, Montoya, Fontàs, Bartra and Tello.
On Thursday, however, all the international players are due back in Barcelona for the team’s evening training session, with the exception of Alexis Sánchez, who will play for Chile in New York City on the same day. It won’t be until Friday that Tito Vilanova will have his entire squad at his disposal, not counting the injured players, to prepare for the first match of the Liga.
Monday, August 13
Tuesday, August 14
9.00 Training session
Wednesday, August 15
9.00 Training session
Thursday, August 16
19.00 Training session
Friday, August 17
9.00 Training session
Saturday, August 18
9.00 Training session
Sunday, August 19
21.00 First match of the 2012/13 La Liga season, against Real Sociedad
Messi has broken his own record for preseason goals
The worst news was the serious injury suffered by Marc Muniesa in the first match
Alves 303 (2)
Sergi Roberto 291
Alexis 276 (2)
Messi 272 (5)
Afellay 264 (1)
Rafinha 202 (1)
Dos Santos 150
Deulofeu 75 (2)
Jordi Alba 69
Sergi Gómez 66 (1)
Bucharest was the venue for the last of FC Barcelona’s five preseason friendlies. The series has
ended with three wins, 2-1 in Hamburg, 8-0 against Raja Club Athletic and 2-0 at Dinamo, and
two draws, 2-2 in Paris and 0-0 with Manchester United. Good results and positive feelings,
with the team displaying many of the virtues that have brought so much success in recent
years, dominating the possession and generating constant pressure.
As ever, the most important thing about these matches was simply giving the players the
chance to get back into the routine of playing football. The first two matches involved a large
presence of reserves, who rose to the occasion in exceptional style. It was not until game three
against PSG that the Spain internationals were involved and Tito Vilanova could field a side
that resembles what will be his first eleven for the forthcoming season. Parc des Princes also
marked the return to action of Carles Puyol after an absence through injury.
The last stage of the preseason also saw Jordi Alba, the club’s new signing, make his first
appearances in a Barça shirt in the mini-tour of Sweden and Romania, while the second of
those two games, in Bucharest, also saw the long-awaited returns of both David Villa and
Andreu Fontàs, who have been sidelined for several months.
Messi sets new record
Leo Messi was the top Barça scorer in the preseason with five goals. That’s the Argentinian’s
best tally ever, and that was despite missing the first game with a minor injury. Dani Alves,
Deulofeu and Alexis all hit the target twice.
Alves was also the player who got the most minutes of playing time (303). He was followed by
Sergi Roberto (291), who was very active in midfield, Mascherano (285), Alexis (276) and
Bartra (273). The centre back has been one of the revelations of the preseason, displaying
security, elegance and the ability to bring the ball out of defence with remarkable
Muniesa, the worst news
The returns of Puyol, Villa and Fontàs have been the high point of the preseason, but the worst
news was the serious injury suffered by Marc Muniesa. The defender tore cruciate ligaments in
his right knee in Hamburg and will now be out for about six months.