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FC Barcelona News: 16 August 2019; First Match Squad Announced, Lionel Messi Receives UEFA Nomination

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FC Barcelona v Arsenal - Club Friendly Photo by Erwin Spek/Soccrates/Getty Images

PREVIEW | Athletic Club - Barça: La Liga returns | FC Barcelona
The 2019/20 league campaign begins this Friday (9.00pm CEST) with a historic Spanish football match: Athletic Club - Barça. In fact, Los Leones and the culers are the only teams, along with Real Madrid, who have never been relegated. Ernesto Valverde’s side will visit San Mamés on the first day of domestic competition looking for the first three points of the season.

Barca won’t risk Messi vs. Athletic - Valverde | ESPN
Barcelona coach Ernesto Valverde says Lionel Messi will not be risked for the Spanish champions’ La Liga opener against Athletic Bilbao on Friday, with the Argentine not being included in the squad list. Messi injured his calf in training last week and missed Barca’s tour of the United States. He has not featured in any of the club’s five preseason friendlies and hasn’t played competitively since the Copa America.

The squad for Bilbao | FC Barcelona
The season begins with three points at stake in Bilbao on the first day of the 2019/20 league campaign. Barça will play against Athletic Club at San Mamés stadium (9.00pm CEST), and Ernesto Valverde called up 19 players on Thursday for the match.

Messi, Ronaldo, Van Dijk, Hegerberg nominated for UEFA award | ESPN
Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo and Virgil van Dijk have been named as the finalists for the UEFA Men’s Player of the Year award. While Ronaldo, a three-time winner, has been ever-present in the final three since the award was created in 2011, Van Dijk makes his first appearance after helping Liverpool win the Champions League title last season.

QUIZ: How well do you know our Liga opponents? | FC Barcelona
19 teams... 19 questions... Time to test your knowledge of the clubs FC Barcelona will be playing this season!

‘Missing out on Coutinho is no blow for Arsenal’ - £40m loan deal made no sense to Winterburn | Goal
Missing out on a deal to bring Philippe Coutinho back to the Premier League from Barcelona is no blow for Arsenal, says Nigel Winterburn. It was suggested, as the Premier League deadline drew ever closer, that the Gunners were exploring the option of returning the former Liverpool playmaker to English football.

Kia Joorabichan dismisses Philippe Coutinho to PSG link | Football Espana
Philippe Coutinho’s agent has rubbished claims that his client is set to sign for Paris Saint-Germain. Kia Joorabichan has dismissed any potential suggestion that he is brokering a deal to bring the Brazilian international to the Ligue 1 champions, as part of a player exchange deal with Neymar returnign to the Camp Nou.

Hristo Stoichkov warns against Neymar’s return to FC Barcelona | Football Espana
Former FC Barcelona legend Hristo Stoichkov has warned the club against resigning Neymar this summer. The Brazilian international has been heavily linked with a return to the Camp Nou in recent weeks, however the former Bulgarian international is strongly opposed to seeing the 29-year old in a FC Barcelona shirt again.

Denis Suarez slams Ernesto Valverde over FC Barcleona exit | Football Espana
Former FC Barcelona midfielder Denis Suarez has launched a scathing attack on former manager Ernesto Valverde. The Spanish international left the Camp Nou earlier this summer, joining Celta Vigo, following an unsuccessful loan spell at Arsenal at the end of the 2018-19 campaign.