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FC Barcelona News: 9 August 2014; Fourth Preseason Friendly Just Hours Away, Two Kickoff Times Announced

Manuel Queimadelos Alonso

FC Barcelona arrive in Finland | FC Barcelona
After a long diagonal journey across most of the European continent, the first team have arrived in Finland and settled into their hotel in Helsinki, where Sergio Busquets and Martín Montoya have given press conferences. Luis Enrique and his team are there to play HJK in the fourth preseason friendly after already facing Recreativo Huelva, Nice and Napoli.

HJK Helsinki v FC Barcelona: New test in Finland | FC Barcelona
After games in Huelva, Nice and Geneva, plus the training camp in Birmingham, Luis Enrique has now taken his team to Finland for the fourth preseason friendly. At 6.00 PM CET on Saturday afternoon, the Catalans face the biggest club from the Finnish capital, HJK Helsinki, in a game whose ambassador is former FCB player Jari Litmanen.

Training for Messi, Mascherano and Alves | FC Barcelona
While most of the squad were flying to Finland for Saturday’s friendly with HJK Helsinki, the activity still continued at the Ciutat Esportiva, where Leo Messi, Javier Mascherano and Dani Alves continued training normally. The trio only just got back to work this week, and the coaching staff decided it would better for them to stay in Barcelona and work on their fitness.

Sergio Busquets ready to keep learning | FC Barcelona
After a four-hour flight to Finland, Sergio Busquets and Martín Montoya then spoke to the media at Hotel Kämp, where the team are staying in Helsinki, to discuss a variety of issues. Sergio Busquets opened by saying that "I am happy and proud to have been named among the captains. I learned a lot from Puyol and Valdés and want to continue learning from the players that are still here." He, along with Xavi, Iniesta and Messi, will wear the captain’s armband in 2014/15.

Training in Barcelona without Afellay | FC Barcelona
While most of the squad were in Helsinki for Saturday’s friendly, at the Ciutat Esportiva it was training as usual for Messi, Mascherano, Mathieu, Song and Alves. The Frenchman has not been given medical clearance yet, but joined his colleagues nevertheless, and Adriano was also able to join in with some of the exercises.

Kick-off times confirmed for La Liga games 4 and 5 | FC Barcelona
This Friday the fixture schedule for matchdays 4 and 5 of the BBVA La Liga was announced. Barça will play two consecutive away games, against Levante and Malaga. Luis Enrique’s team will visit Levante on Sunday 21st of September at 9 p.m. on the fourth matchday.

The new design on the first team bus, inspired by the Barça anthem | FC Barcelona
The new image of the bus that carries the first team was today shown off for the first time as the squad travelled from the Ciudad Esportiva to Barcelona airport before flying to Helsinki. The creative design on the outside of the bus has been inspired by the Fc Barcelona Anthem ‘el Cant del Barça’.

UEFA uphold Alonso ban | Football Espana
UEFA have opted to uphold their decision to ban Xabi Alonso from Real Madrid’s European Super Cup clash with Sevilla. European football’s governing body issued the punishment after the midfielder, who was suspended for last season’s Champions League final, jumped onto the field in celebration after Los Blancos scored against Atletico Madrid.

Malaga full-back Jesus Gamez sign three-year deal with champions Atletico Madrid | Football News | Sky Sports
Reigning La Liga champions Atletico Madrid have signed full-back Jesus Gamez from Malaga on a three-year contract. The 29-year-old had spent his entire career at La Rosaleda, making 266 league appearances for Malaga, but makes the switch from the south coast to the capital for a shot at defending the Primera Division title.

Aston Villa are closing in on the signing of Aly Cissokho | Football News | Sky Sports
Sky sources understand that Valencia defender Aly Cissokho is having a medical at Aston Villa. The France international left-back was on loan at Liverpool last season, and now looks set for another stint in the Premier League.

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