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18.08.2007 16:54

Zambrotta makes it a dozen

Sergi Nogueras

Gianluca's Zambrotta's inclusion in the Italy squad for a friendly international on Wednesday means that 12 Barça first team players will now be away with their respective nations next week.

The Italian defender was called up by Roberto Donadoni for the Azzurri's encounter with Hungary in Budapest. Frank Rijkaard will now be without 12 players for the first four days of the week as he continues preparations for the opening league game against Racing. The dozen absentees are Xavi, Andrés Iniesta, Ronaldinho, Zambrotta, Touré Yaya, Leo Messi, Gaby Milito, Samuel Eto'o, Éric Abidal, Thierry Henry, Lilian Thuram and Deco.

Thuram and Deco are both set to report for international duty despite having missed training with the Blaugrana on Saturday. The French star is still carrying an ankle injury, while the Portuguese midfielder has a thigh strain. The club will inform their national team medics about those injuries to prevent them from incurring further problems.

Eto'o travels to Japan

WEB_12.jpgSamuel Eto'o will travel to Japan to play in Cameroon's friendly after having his request to miss the trip rejected. The Barça striker will set off from Paris to Tokyo on Sunday, only a week after returning from the Far East.

Krkic ready to play

Bokan Krkic is also in Asia with the Spain squad for the Under-17 World Championships in Korea, which kick off on Sunday. The youngster withdrew from the Barça squad for their trip to China and Japan in order to link up with the Spanish side to begin preparations for the tournament.
Zambrotta makes it a dozen
Staying put
FC Barcelona will return to training on Monday at 18:30 and Rafa Márquez and Gio Dos Santos will both be present. The duo were not called by Mexico for the friendly against Colombia in Denver, United States in midweek.

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