FC Barcelona prepares to return to work with many familiar faces missing

07:59, July 19, 2010      

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Reigning BBVA Primera Liga champions FC Barcelona return to pre-season training on Monday with many familiar faces missing.

With so many players enjoying their summer holidays following the World Cup finals, Barcelona coach Pep Guardiola will start work with just eight first team regulars.

They are reserve goalkeeper Pinto, defenders Gabi Milito and Maxwell as well as new signing Adriano, midfielder Seydou Keita and forwards Jeffren, Zlatan Ibrahimovich and Bojan Krkic.

Meanwhile three players: Alexander Hleb, Victor Sanchez and Henrique also return after spending last season out on loan. The club will look to sell all three players this summer to help finance further spending on new signings.

Guardiola will have to make up the numbers by including up to 17 players from the club's B-team in his training sessions, but he can be confident that will lead to only a slight drop in quality. Barcelona's B-team last season won promotion to the Liga Adelante (Spanish second division) and some of its regular players such as goalkeeper Oier Olazabal, defender Marc Muniesa and midfielder Jonathan Dos Santos have already some experience of playing with the first team and will aim to make the step up to the regular first team squad over the next 12 months.

Meanwhile the club has announced that Carlos Busquets has been named as goalkeeping coach. Busquets, a former Barcelona player and the father of current Barcelona midfielder and Spain international Sergio Busquets, replaces Juan Carlos Unzue, who has been named as the first team coach of Liga Adelante side Numancia.

Interestingly the player Carlos Busquets replaced as first choice keeper at Barcelona, Andoni Zubizarreta, was recently named as the new Technical Director at the club by President Sandro Rosell.

Source: Xinhua


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