Busy summers ahead
Successive Barca managers have had to get used to working with a depleted squad at the beginning of the pre-season in recent years. This looks set to be a pattern that will be repeated in the future.
Eric Abidal is the first member of the Barca squad who took part in the World Cup to report back
for training. Meanwhile, his Spanish, Brazilian, Argentine and Mexican team-mates are still
enjoying a well-deserved rest and will miss the first part of the close season preparations.
However, a brief glance at the international footballing calendar for the next four years
shows that the situation this season will be repeated in the future.
2011: The Copa America.
Next year, Leo Messi’s Argentina will host the Copa America and must start as
one of the firm favourites to lift the trophy won by Brazil in Venezuela in 2007.
2012: European Championship and Olympic Games
The following summer, the fans will be treated to a double feast of football with
the European Championship – hosted by Poland and the Ukraine – and the Olympic Games.
Reigning champions Spain will be defending the European title they won in Vienna and the tournament
is certain to involve a large group of Barca’s European internationals.
At the end of July the London Olympic Games will open and just as happened with
Messi in 2008, it’s quite possible that some of the younger Barca stars will be involved.
2013: Confederations Cup
Brazil will host the Confederations Cup in June 2013. Both Brazil (as host country) and Spain
(as reigning World Champions) are guaranteed a place in the tournament along with the winners of
the Copa America and the African Cup of Nations. Once again, a large number of Barca players are
certain to be called up.
2014. The World Cup
Completing the cycle of international footballing events is the 2014 World Cup, to
be held in Brazil. Once again, as host country, Brazil is assured of a place and just like this
year a large number of Barca players are certain to be called up.