Thursday 22 February 2018

Del Bosque sparks barca fury with spanish call-ups

A club versus country row has boiled up in Spain over coach Vicente del Bosque's decision to call up seven Barcelona players for the world champions' friendly in Mexico on Wednesday.

Barca sporting director Andoni Zubizarreta said the selection of midfielder Xavi, striker David Villa, goalkeeper Victor Valdes and four others for the match, which falls three days before the first leg of their Spanish Super Cup match against Sevilla, was "an extraordinarily negative set of circumstances."

"It will be the first time in history that they call up players who are still on holiday," the former Spain goalkeeper said.

"They (the Barca players) are important because they have become world champions, but it's obvious in what condition they will go to the national team training camp. Logic says they are not in a position to make such a big effort and undertake such a long trip."

Another worry for Zubizarreta and Barca is that Lionel Messi is due to link up with his Argentina team-mates for next Wednesday's friendly against Ireland at the Aviva stadium after the Catalan giants play Beijing Guoan in the Bird's Nest tomorrow.

Irish Independent

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