Barcelona has begun training for its first pre-season friendly match at England’s St George’s Park this week. The team will face Celtic on Saturday and will be keen to return to form after a slightly nerve racking end to the last season.
The La Liga champions are spending a total of six days at St George’s Park before travelling to Dublin in order to take on Brendan Rodgers’ Celtic at the Aviva Stadium as part of the International Champions Cup.
? Training at St. George's Park. Mathieu, due to illness, and Montoya, with pain in his adductor, did not train. pic.twitter.com/z3unk0mvLt
— FC Barcelona (@FCBarcelona) July 28, 2016
Barcelona’s 25 man squad includes 12 players from the Barcelona B team and the Under-19 team but there are a few big names taking part such as Lionel Messi and Luis Suarez.
Messi wasn’t expected to take part in the match after being given an extended period of rest by the team following his participation in this summer’s Copa America where he helped Argentina reach the final before they were ultimately defeated by Chile.
However, the 29 year old, shortened his holiday and was seen participating in training along with the rest of the team. Joining him were Cristian Tello, Martin Montoya, Jeremy Mathieu and Arda Turan, but Gerard Pique, Andres Iniesta and Ivan Rakitic were all absent after they were granted extra time off following Euro 2016.
In other Barcelona news, the club has announced record revenues of €679 million for last season. The figures were released earlier this week and the according to the club the overall revenue is “a substantial increase of the figure originally budgeted for this area”.
The team recorded a net profit of €29 million after tax and the club’s board thinks that they are on course to hit the marks of a strategic plan that aims for revenue of €1 billion in 2021.