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FC Barcelona News: 8 August 2014; 20 Players Called Up for Helsinki Trip, Luis Suarez Presents Case to CAS

Michael Regan

Xavi and Mathieu not in the squad for Helsinki | FC Barcelona
Xavi Hernández and Jérémy Mathieu are not travelling to Finland. Although they are both recovering well from their respective injuries, they have not been included, as a precautionary measure, in the the squad for the fourth preseason friendly, this Saturday, against HJK Hèlsinki.

Xavi, Iniesta, Messi and Busquets named captains | FC Barcelona
The result of a vote between all of the members of the first team squad on Tuesday to nominate the four captains for the 2014/15 season was announced on Thursday. Xavi Hernández, Andrés Iniesta, Leo Messi and Sergio Busquets, in that order, are the chosen players.

Jérémy Mathieu back with squad | FC Barcelona
The first team trained at the Ciutat Esportiva today for the first time since the loss to Napoli in Geneva. Luis Enrique was able to welcome back Jérémy Mathieu, who trained despite not being declared fully fit, and Adriano Correia, who also participated in part of the session.

HJK Helsinki: The great hope of Finnish football | FC Barcelona
FC Barcelona’s preseason schedule continues this Saturday with a trip up north to face HJK Helsinki. It will be a tougher test than it might look on paper, because while Barça are still preparing for the new season, the Finnish Veikkausliiga, as well as two national cup competitions, have been under way since April.

La Liga: Luiz Suarez hopeful on reducing four-month FIFA ban | Football News | Sky Sports
Balbi, quoted in the Uruguayan newspaper El Observador, said: "It would be more logical to reduce the sanction by a few months than to reduce the ban concerning international games, because legally it's easier to contend against the terms of the suspension that forbid him from training and from being at the club, because they violate fundamental rights.

Suarez appeal heard today | Football Espana
Luis Suarez is in Lausanne for his appeal against the four-month ban from all football imposed by FIFA for biting Giorgio Chiellini. Mundo Deportivo reports Barcelona have helped prepare the summer signing’s case to the Court of Arbitration for Sport as they feel they are also affected by the ban, with Suarez unable to train, enter Camp Nou or even meet his new teammates.

Barcelona agree £15m fee to sign Thomas Vermaelen from Arsenal | Sky Sports
Sky sources understand Barcelona have agreed a £15m fee with Arsenal for defender Thomas Vermaelen. The deal is subject to the defender passing a medical and agreeing to the move to the Nou Camp.

Inside view: The trip to Geneva in fifteen minutes | FC Barcelona
Barça lost their first game of the preseason in Geneva on Wednesday night. But there were still plenty of positives to take out of a game that featured several Barça B players against a side that finished third in Serie A and could be competing in the Champions League next year.

Luis Enrique and Messi: 11 years after | FC Barcelona
Back in 2003/04, Frank Rijkaard picked a youngster from Barça B to play in a friendly against Porto. His name was Leo Messi. The regular first team players in the side that night included Luis Enrique, in what would be his last season at FCB. And the two combined in a move that almost led to a goal.

Report: Lopez to Milan on loan | Football Espana
Reports in Spain have suggested that Diego Lopez could leave Real Madrid for Milan on a one-year loan deal. It was claimed earlier in the week that the goalkeeper’s move to Serie A was imminent and both AS and Marca say that is still the case. AS cite reports from La Gazzetta dello Sport that say Lopez will move on loan as a temporary solution to Madrid’s problem with goalkeepers.

PSG have called time on their pursuit of Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria | Football News | Sky Sports
Paris Saint-Germain have called time on their pursuit of Real Madrid winger Angel Di Maria after being priced out of a deal. The French champions, who on Thursday unveiled £50million centre-back signing David Luiz, have not hidden their interest in Argentina international Di Maria during the summer transfer window.

Athletic paired with Napoli in CL | Football Espana
Athletic Bilbao will have to play Serie A side Napoli to win a place in the Champions League group stage. The clubs were paired against each other at today’s draw in Nyon with the Basque club having to overcome Rafael Benitez’s side to reach the group stage for the first time in 16 years.

Villarreal & La Real get EL opponents | Football Espana
Villarreal will place Kazakhstan side FC Astana in the Europa League play-offs while Real Sociedad meet Russia’s FC Krasnodar. The draw was conducted at UEFA headquarters in Nyon shortly after the Champions League draw pitted Athletic Bilbao against Napoli.

Eibar sign Sevilla winger Manu del Moral on a season-long loan | Football News | Sky Sports
Primera Division new boys Eibar have signed Sevilla winger Manu del Moral on a season-long loan. The 30-year-old has already joined up with his team-mates ahead of Eibar's first ever top-flight campaign.

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