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08.08.2007 11:46

A Five-Star Gamper Game

Berta Brau

August is a time for taking a vacation, enjoying the warm weather and the tradition of watching Barça play in the Trofeo Joan Gamper against some of the world's best teams.

On August 29 this year Camp Nou will once again open its' doors to signal the start of another new season. For the 42nd edition of the annual event Italian champions Internazionale are the opponents.

Having taken on such luminaries as Boca Juniors, AC Milan, Juventus and Bayern Munich in the last four Gamper matches, the incredible level of opposition is due to continue with the arrival of Roberto qm3d4155.jpgMancini's side. As is now the tradition, only the world's best clubs are invited to participate and Frank Rijkaard's new-look squad will be given another stern test in front of a full house as the club's supporters are given a chance to welcome the new players and pay homage to the familiar faces in the ranks. The star-studded squad at Barça has been strengthened with four incredible signings since the end of last term as Thierry Henry arrived from Arsenal, Yaya Touré joined from Monaco, Éric Abidal was signed from Olympique Lyonnais and Gabriel Milito came in from Real Zaragoza.

Italian champions

Inter come to Barcelona looking to build on their succes of last season when they swept to the Italian league title. Roberto Mancini's side finished 22 points ahead of AS Roma, who were runners-up. Rijkaard's team can be assured of a tough test against a side made up of a host of international stars.

Two grand teams

The Serie A winners have bolstered their squad during summer. David Suazo has strengthened the attack as the 27-year-old Honduran joined from Cagliari, where spent seven years, after scoring 14 vieirainterrr.jpggoals in 36 games last term. Mancini also added to his midfield options by capturing 23-year-old Chilean international Luis Antonio Jiménez from Lazio as well as having Brazilian playmaker César return from his loan spell with Livorno. In defence, Inter pikced up 24-year-old Colombian Nelson Enrique López Rivas from River Plate, who has the nickname Tyson due to his style of play. Former Blaugrana defender Francesco Coco also came back after spending two seasons out on loan at Livorno and Torino, and Christian Chivu also arrived after the Romanian finally pushed through a move from AS Roma.

These new signings have only made the Inter squad even stronger and make them one of the best sides in European football. With Francesco Toldo in goal, Marco Materazzi and Javier Zanetti are impressive in defence, Esteban Cambiasso and Luis Figo are in midfield while Adriano, Hernán Crespo, Julio Ricardo Cruz, Zlatan Ibrahimovic and Álvaro Recoba add to the powerful forward line.

Style challenge

qm3d4010.jpgIn the 42nd year of the Trofeo Joan Gamper, FC Barcelona and Inter are set to produce an enthralling encounter as both sides are at the pinnacle of the world game. They represent differing styles of play because while Inter have a very strong attack, they also employ the familiar Italian tactic of a forceful defence. Mancini's Inter, like the Sampdoria side that he captained and that qualified for the European Cup Final in 1992, uses the ball superbly through the midfield and have had incredible success under their coach.
A Five-Star Gamper Game

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