Frank Rijkaard has announced his squad for the first official game of the season. His squad for the league debut against Racing Santander includes Barça B central mid-fielder Marc Crosas but there is no room Thiago Motta.
Frank Rijkaard has named 20 players for the trip to Santander, 18 from the senior squad and 2 from
the reserve squad who have been training with the first team for the whole week: Marc Crosas and
Jesús Olmo. In this first squad list of the league season the manager has favoured the Barça B
mid-fielder at the expense Thiago Motta.
Third outing for Crosas
Marc Crosas, who has been training the whole pre-season with the senior squad, is the main
surprise in the list. However, this is not the first time Crosas has been named in the squad for a
league encounter. Last season he was on the list for the games at home against Atlético Madrid and
away against Getafe He was also included in the trip to Japan for the FIFA World Club championship.
He made his competitive debut last season in the round of 16 of the Kings Cup against Badalona,
playing 14 minutes in the second half.
Neither Milito nor Giovani Dos Santos will make the trip to Santander.
The Argentine defender will serve out a match ban which he picked up in the last game of last
season while still with his previous club, Zaragoza. Giovani misses out due to his non-EU status
with the three permitted foreign places being taken by Ronaldinho, Eto'o and Touré Yayá. Rijkaard
will also be without the injured threesome of Edmilson, Puyol and Gudjohnsen. The Icelandic striker
has been working on his fight back to fitness with one of the club coaches Josep Anton Pozanco.
The French international defender has been struggling with a left ankle injury during the
week and missed France’s midweek match. However, he trained as normal this Saturday and has
been included in the squad. In today’s training session, held behind closed doors, goalkeeper
Víctor Valdés had a slight back problem which was speedily resolved by one of the first team
coaches, Jaume Jardí.
Three seasons ago Deco and Samuel Eto'o made their Barça debuts in Santander. They
couldn’t have made a better start, with Barça winning the game 2-0. This Sunday it could be
the turn of Henry, Abidal and Touré Yayá to make their competitive debuts in the Barça colours.
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The complete list
The 18 players named by Rijkaard are: Valdés, Márquez, Xavi, Iniesta, Eto'o, Ronaldinho, Zambrotta,
Henry, Sylvinho, Ezquerro, Messi, Deco, Thuram, Abidal, Oleguer, Touré Yayá, Jorquera and Marc