The international break is upon us once again which usually means Barcelona stars jetting off all over the globe, but this time around plenty of key players will be staying at the Camp Nou.
Lionel Messi is currently suspended, Luis Suarez is set to stay behind for treatment, while Samuel Umtiti, Jordi Alba, Junior Firpo, Ousmane Dembele and Ansu Fati have all been left out due to injury concerns.
All of which means that only 10 of Barcelona’s first-team squad are away, the remaining players will train on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week and then enjoy a few days off.
Arthur has been simply brilliant for Barcelona this season but will undertake plenty of travelling with Brazil over the international break. The Selecao play two friendlies in Singapore against Senegal on Thursday and Nigeria on Sunday. Sport have called it a “senseless 22,000km round trip” and you have to admit they have a point.
Arturo Vidal: Chile
Arturo Vidal is another midfielder who has made an important contribution for Barcelona this season. The Chilean is set to take on Colombia and Guinea in friendlies but unlike Arthur will not have to travel too far. Both games are scheduled to take place in Alicante at Hercules’ Estadio José Rico Pérez ground.
Marc-Andre ter Stegen: Germany
There has been plenty of talk about whether Marc-Andre ter Stegen or Manuel Neuer should be Germany’s No. 1, and both goalkeepers will get a chance to play for Joachim Low’s side. The coach has confirmed Ter Stegen will take on Argentina in a friendly on Wednesday in Dortmund, while Neuer will be back between the sticks for the Euro 2020 qualifier against Estonia on Sunday.
Clement Lenglet, Antoine Griezmann: France
World champions France have called up Clement Lenglet and Antoine Griezmann for their two crucial Euro 2020 qualifiers. Les Bleus and Turkey top the group on 15 points and face off in Paris on Monday, but before then France must play third-placed Iceland. Given Barcelona’s injury and suspension problems in defence, they will be praying Lenglet returns unscathed.
Ivan Rakitic: Croatia
Ivan Rakitic has struggled for game time at Barcelona this season and missed Croatia’s most recent fixtures as he was “trying to sort out his club future.” However, he is back for their games against Hungary and Wales. The 2018 World Cup finalists play Hungary in Split in Euro 2020 qualifying on Thursday and then head to Wales on Sunday.
Frenkie de Jong: Netherlands
Frenkie de Jong’s Netherlands side have work to do in qualifying. The Dutch are behind Germany and Northern Ireland in Group C but do have a game in hand on both teams. Netherlands host Northern Ireland in a crucial game on Thursday and then head to Belarus for their second qualifier of the break.
Nelson Semedo: Portugal
Nelson Semedo heads off on Portugal duty after a fine showing against Sevilla. The European champions host Luxembourg on Friday in Lisbon and then head to Ukraine for Monday’s qualifier.
Sergio Busquets: Spain
Sergio Busquets is the only Barcelona player to be called into Robert Moreno’s Spain squad. La Roja play Norway on Saturday in Oslo in a Euro 2020 qualifier and then head to Sweden for their second match in Group F. Spain have won all six of their qualifiers so far to top the group from Sweden by seven points.
Moussa Wague: Senegal
Moussa Wague’s Senegal also face a long trip to Singapore for a friendly. They play Brazil on Thursday, but it is their only fixture of the international break.