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06.06.2007 14:05

International comeback

Jesús Carrillo

After winning the Copa Catalunya on Tuesday evening, the FC Barcelona squad is slowly taking shape again. On Wednesday a number of players returned from their international obligations, while the rest will come back on Thursday.

Leo Messi, Javier Saviola, Gio Van Bronckhorst, Eidur Gudjohnsen and Samuel Eto'o were all training on the pitch in front of La Masia as they followed Xavi Hernández in returning to Barça as preparations begin for the forthcoming home game against Espanyol at the weekend. On Thursday Ronaldinho, Edmílson, Gianluca Zambrotta, Lilian Thuram, Deco, Carles Puyol and Andrés Iniesta will all be back.

Mexican international, Rafael Márquez, is the only player still out of action as he continues to recover from a muscle injury.

Recovery period

06-06-07_WEB_04.jpgThe players that helped the Blaugrana win the Copa Catalunya in Sabadell on Tuesday trained for about 45 minutes before returning the changing rooms, as did Messi after his appearance for Argentina against Algeria in Camp Nou. Sylvinho, Oleguer and Juliano Belletti worked out in the gymnasium inside the stadium.

Staying young

The majority of B and C team players that played in the cup final returned to train with the first team on Wednesday, with the exception of Giovanni dos Santos, who has been called up to play for the Mexico Under-20 side. The youngsters that remained under Rijkaard's command were Marc Valiente, Marc Crosas, Jesús Olmo, Andrea Orlandi, Toni Calvo, Víctor Vázquez, Sergi Busquets, Thaer Fayed and Lluis Sastre.

Positional sense

06-06-07_WEB_06.jpgThe order of the day in training was positional sense and awareness. After the usual warm-ups and ball games, the coaching staff organised an exercise to practice long passes in pairs and then worked on positioning in a small space. A high intensity game then drew the session to a close.
International comeback

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Penalty practice
Samuel Eto'o took the chance to try his luck from the penalty spot as he attempted to replicate the shoot-out success of the team in the Copa Catalunya final the evening before. The Cameroonian international was watched by Albert Jorquera and Santi Ezquerro, who stood by the goal.

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