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Messi spearheads Barça squad in Munich

World Player of the Year Lionel Messi will be on the plane when the Barcelona squad sets off for Munich on Wednesday morning, but new signing Neymar will not appear in the same evening’s Uli Hoeneß Cup clash. Argentine superstar Messi spearheads a 23-strong Barça squad, who play their first friendly match of pre-season at the Allianz Arena in the evening (kick-off 6.30 pm). Messi will be joined by many other regulars including Javier Mascherano and Alexis Sanchez, but Confederations Cup winner Neymar and the club’s Spain internationals including the likes of Xavi and Andrés Iniesta are still on vacation, and are only due to recommence training with their club next week.

Happy birthday, Luiz!
The players surprised Luiz Gustavo at training on Tuesday morning with a spontaneous chorus of Happy Birthday. During the warm-up, the squad celebrated the Brazilian’s 26th birthday with the traditional song and a few hearty pats on the back. and fans everywhere wish Luiz Gustavo all the very best!