Jérémy Mathieu out for game against Athletic | FC Barcelona
The FC Barcelona first team have put the finishing touches to their preparations for the visit of Athletic Club. The squad trained on Saturday at the Ciutat Esportiva Joan Gamper, all the available first team players taking part along with Wilfrid Kaptoum from the B squad. The league clash will be the first of three meetings with the Basque club coached by former Barça player Ernesto Valverde after the draw for the quarter-finals of the Copa del Rey on Friday brought them together.
The Barça v Athletic Club Quiz | FC Barcelona
Test your knowledge of one of the most historic clashes in Spanish football
Barca eyeing defensive reinforcements? | Football Espana
According to Mundo Deportivo, the technical secretary attended the Copa del Rey last-16 second leg to keep a close eye on Athletic centre-back Aymeric Laporte and Villarreal left-back Adrian Marin, as opposed to January target Denis Suarez.
Trials and tribulations: How Aleix Vidal overcame the odds | FC Barcelona
Aleix Vidal can now feel completely part of FC Barcelona. He has finally made his first team debut after spending several months waiting on the side-lines. "I was aware of the suspension" he says. "I knew I was going to have to make sacrifices. I knew it was going to be a long, hard wait. But when Barça called, it took me less than half a minute to decide. I wanted to make my dream come true at last."
'Barcelona B players should work harder - or they wouldn’t be released' - Goal.com
Barcelona winger Aleix Vidal insists players from the B team should have more effort to succeed before being released. The 26-year-old joined the Spanish champions from Sevilla last summer but has been unable to make his debut until this month due to the club’s transfer ban.