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20.05.2008 13:01

Victor Valdés, named in Catalan squad

Berta Brau

Pere Gratacós has announced the team to face Argentina in Saturday’s friendly at the Camp Nou, and the only Barça player in the squad is Víctor Valdés.

Catalan head coach Pere Gratacós has announced a list of 18 players for the Catalonia v Argentina match this weekend. Euro 2008 has limited the number of players available to him, while he has also left his squad open pending news on the shoulder injury sustained by Racing’s Albert Crusat, who may be a late inclusion.

Victor Valdés only Barça player

The only FC Barcelona player in the squad is the goalkeeper, given that neither Bojan Krkic nor Oleguer Preses have been picked. Pere Gratacós said these two players were left out because “in Bojan’s case, I spoke with him and told him my reason for not naming him was mainly because after an agreement I made with Luis Aragonés, I don’t want to set off any arguments or problems for the player. It was a decision I made myself, and I assume the risks of not playing Bojan Krkic in this match”.

Absence of Oleguer Preses

But the Catalan defender was another shock name missing from Pere Gratacós’ selection. He justified the decision by saying “despite the emotional level that playing a game like this means for him” he decided not to include him because “I want players that are in the right playing rhythm and in a situation in which they can make a major effort, and Oleguer has not played since December”.

Important and interesting match

This is the 200th game played by the Catalan national side, and they will be up against an Argentina team that includes Leo Messi. Pere Gratacós described the game as “important and very interesting as the Argentina team are a high quality side and includes about 10 players that would be in their full international squad”.

The players included in the Catalan squad are as follows:

Victor Valdés (FC Barcelona)
José Miguel Morales (Terrassa FC)
Ferran Corominas (RCD Español)
Angel Martínez (RCD Español)
David García (RCD Español)
Francisco J. Chica (RCD Español)
Jonathan Soriano (RCD Español)
Sergio González (Deportivo)
Joan Verdú (Deportivo)
Albert Lopo (Deportivo)
David Belenguer (Getafe)
Bruno Saltor (Almería)
Carlos García (Almería)
Santi Triguero (CF Vilanova Geltrú)
Gerard Piqué (Manchester United)
Oscar Serrano (Ràcing de Santander)
Luis García (Atlético Madrid)
Gerard López (Recreativo)
Victor Valdés, named in Catalan squad

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Argentina squad
Gonzalo Higuaín (Real Madrid)
Fernando Gago (Real Madrid)
Fabriccio Coloccini (Deportivo)
Lionel Messi (FC Barcelona)
Óscar Ustari (Getafe)
Marco Rubén (Recreativo de Huelva)
Pablo Zabaleta (RCD Español)
Sergio Agüero (Atlético de Madrid)
Federico Julián Fazio (Sevilla)
Ever Banega (Valencia)
Angel di Maria (Benfica)
Cristian Ansaldi (Rubin Kasan)
Ezequiel Lavezzi (Nápoles)
Sergio Romero (AZ Alkmaar)
Lucas Biglia (Anderlecht)
Mauro Zárate (Birmingham)
Emiliano Insúa (Liverpool)
Sebastian Leto (Liverpool)
Diego Valeri (Lanús)

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