FC Barcelona yesterday announced their 25-man squad for the 2013-2014 UEFA Champions League group stage, and head coach Gerardo Martino has somewhat surprisingly opted to name the same squad that will compete for the title in La Liga. This means that Barcelona have either not disclosed, or not named any players on "List B", which is typically made up of youth players from the club in question.
In previous seasons, Barcelona’s "B-List" has included players such as Gerard Deulofeu, Rafinha Alcântara, Sergi Roberto and other talented B team players, who would usually make a cameo appearance or two – and sometimes start the final group match, depending on Barça’s record in the group.
While Deulofeu and Rafinha have both left the club on loan to Everton and Celta Vigo respectively, it was expected that Gerardo Martino would at least name one or two B team players to that back-up list, enabling the likes of Sergi Gomez, Joan Angel Roman and Jean-Marie Dongou to experience a taste of UEFA Champions League action.
Elsewhere in Barcelona’s Group, AC Milan’s squad includes new signing Kaka, as well as Mario Balotelli, who was cup-tied the last time these two European heavyweights squared off. AFC Ajax’s squad is relatively short in cover at the back – Frank de Boer’s team includes just five defenders – but it does boast a few "household names", like Barça-loanee Bojan Krkic and talented Danish winger, Viktor Fischer. Celtic on the other hand have included new signing Nir Biton, an Israeli international defensive midfielder, who had previously been linked with a move to then-Premier League champions, Manchester City.
More from Barca Blaugranes:
- FC Barcelona News: 4 September 2013; Shirt Numbers for 2013-14 Season Confirmed, Osasuna Fire Coach Mendilibar
- Johan Cruyff Responds To Sandro Rosell Claims, Threatens Legal Action Against Club
- Sandro Rosell Speaks Out About Corruption Allegations
- Putting FC Barcelona's Reign Atop La Liga Into Context
- FC Barcelona News: 3 September 2013; Sergio Busquets Out of Spain Squad, Transfer Deadline Passes