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FC Barcelona News: 7 August 2014; Barça Suffer Preseason Defeat to Napoli, Neymar Continues with Fitness Work

Valerio Pennicino

SSC Napoli v FC Barcelona: First defeat of preseason (1-0) | FC Barcelona
Despite the result, tonight was a great test for Luis Enrique’s side against Napoli in Geneva. Claudio Bravo made his Barça debut against the club that finished third in Serie A last year, and although the Italians took the win thanks to the only goal of the night, the Catalans played strong and confident football despite the absence of some of their biggest stars.

Luis Enrique only highlighting positives | FC Barcelona
After beating Recreativo Huelva and drawing with Nice, Barça lost their first game of the preseason this evening in Geneva against a strong Napoli team. Manager Luis Enrique said afterwards that "I’m only highlighting what was positive", adding that "it’s a shame about the slip at the end" in reference to Dzemaili’s late winner.

Improved performance, claims Pedro | FC Barcelona
The Canary Islander was especially active against Napoli tonight and had a couple of chances to get on the score-sheet. But despite the defeat, he felt it was a better performance than the one against Nice. "We felt good and had our chances to win" he said. "But we weren’t accurate enough up front".

Bravo makes debut and Rafinha as the 'false 9' | FC Barcelona
Ter Stegen played his first 90 minutes in the Barça goal in Nice, and in Geneva Claudio Bravo got his chance. The Chilean played from start to finish against Napoli, but as he already made clear in his press conference, he didn’t expect tonight’s game to be decisive in the difficult choice to pick the regular goalkeeper for the season.

Rafinha to wear 12 and Sergi Roberto, 20 | FC Barcelona
The new shirt numbers for the 2014/15 season have now almost all been revealed, and the latest two players to have theirs confirmed are Rafinha and Sergi Roberto, which will be the same numbers that they already been wearing during the preseason

Training as normal for Messi, Mascherano and Alves | FC Barcelona
Messi, Mascherano and Dani Alves have continued getting into shape for the preseason. After taking medicals this morning, they trained together this evening at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper. Neymar, meanwhile, continued doing specific fitness work, as did the three players that missed the trip to Geneva through injury: Mathieu, Xavi, Patric and Adriano.

Claudio Bravo: "You always have to work to play" | FC Barcelona
"I don’t think this game will necessarily be an indicator of who’ll be playing when we start competition." He was, of course, referring to one of the biggest mysteries at the club right now. Will it be Bravo, Ter Stegen or Masip who’ll be Barça’s regular keeper this season?

Luis Suarez lawyer confident of appeal to Court of Arbitration for Sport to reduce suspension of Uruguay Barcelona forward - ESPN FC
"I think FIFA wanted to show they could take action," he said. "There was dissatisfaction with how other incidents had been treated at the World Cup and Suarez paid for them. Not even the sanction of [Zinedine] Zidane in 2006 or those of Leonardo and [Mauro] Tassotti in 1994 were as severe.

Bartomeu: "We knew he had better offers, but Luis Suárez wanted to come to FC Barcelona" | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona president Josep Maria Bartomeu, has given an extensive interview to Amanda Davies of CNN that is being shown in three different instalments. One of the biggest topics of conversation was the signing of Uruguayan Luis Suarez, but other topics covered in part one, which you can view by clicking on the link below, include the legacy of Pep Guardiola and the importance of Leo Messi for the team.

Big plans for the Gamper Trophy match on August 18 | FC Barcelona
This year’s Joan Gamper Trophy is almost upon us, and there is plenty for the people coming to the stadium to look forward to. From 10.00 AM to 7.00 PM, the Camp Nou forecourt will be a hive of activity, with concerts, a 2.0 area, face paintings and much more.

Manchester United now favourites to land Thomas Vermaelen | Sky Sports
Barcelona looked to have taken pole position in the race to sign the 28-year-old Belgium international on Tuesday when they made a bid of £10million for the player. However, Sky sources have revealed that United are Vermaelen’s preferred destination and the Old Trafford club will have no problem matching or beating Barca’s offer.

Inside view: Final medical checks | FC Barcelona
The players from teams that featured in the World Cup right to the end, Brazil’s Alves and Neymar and Argentina’s Mascherano and Messi, have taken their preseason medical checks.

France striker Karim Benzema signs new contract with Real Madrid | Sky Sports
Karim Benzema has ended speculation over his future after agreeing a contract extension with Real Madrid, keeping him at the Bernabeu until 2019. The striker’s Real future had been in doubt following the summer arrivals of big-money signings Toni Koos and James Rodriguez.

Liverpool confirm loan signing of Javier Manquillo from Atletico Madrid | Sky Sports
Liverpool have announced the signing of Atletico Madrid right-back Javier Manquillo. The 20-year-old has joined on a two-year loan deal with an option to buy after his first season at Anfield. Manquillo said: "I'm very happy to have signed for a club like Liverpool.

Valencia pay €8m for Mustafi | Football Espana
Germany World Cup winner Shkodran Mustafi has completed a move to Valencia from Sampdoria. Marca report Mustafi as costing Los Che €8m with a five-year contract signed worth €1m-a-year.

Friendly: Nolito hat-trick condemns Everton to 3-1 defeat against La Liga side Celta Vigo | Football News | Sky Sports
A hat-trick from Nolito condemned Everton to a 3-1 defeat against Celta Vigo in a pre-season friendly played at Tranmere’s Prenton Park. Roberto Martinez fielded a strong line-up for Everton’s penultimate pre-season game before the Premier League kicks off, with Tim Howard, Leighton Baines, Gareth Barry and Ross Barkley all starting on Wednesday night.

LFP confirm Murcia in Segunda B | Football Espana
The LFP have confirmed Real Murcia have been relegated from the Segunda to the Segunda B due to their economic situation. A statement posted on the LFP website adds that Mirandes will be reinstated to the second tier to take Murcia’s place. Mirandes had originally been relegated, finishing in the final place in the drop zone, but have been granted a reprieve with Murcia taking their place.

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