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Surprise surprise.. Barcelona complete the international break with no injuries



Photo by PIERRE-PHILIPPE MARCOU/AFP via Getty Images

In the past, the international break has more often than not brought along with it some bad news for FC Barcelona in the form of injuries to their key players.

The ‘FIFA virus’ has caused harm to the Blaugrana on a number of occasions in the past and as such, there is a sense of worry and dread each time the international break comes around and players fly out for matches with their national teams.

It was no different this time around when the international break started earlier this month. There was an added sense of concern given that the season was entering the business end and Xavi’s side have crucial matches against the likes of PSG and Real Madrid coming up.

Thankfully no casualties

Barcelona had more than ten players away on national team duty during the international break, including teenage sensation Pau Cubarsi who had earned his first-ever call-up to the Spain squad.

But, the international break came to an end for Barça last night, and thankfully the Catalans’ stars return home without any injury casualties.

Lamine Yamal and Pau Cubarsi were the only two Barcelona players called up by Spain with the likes of Pedri, Gavi, Ferran Torres, and Alejandro Balde all being unavailable.

Both Yamal and Cubarsi played in their first game against Colombia, coming on as second-half substitutes, as La Roja lost 1-0. Yamal started the second friendly vs Brazil and put on a stellar display in a 3-3 draw, with Cubarsi featuring again as a sub.

Meanwhile, Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Ilkay Gundogan were part of Germany’s wins against France (2-0) and the Netherlands (2-1), with both featuring prominently across the two games.

Gundogan captained Germany against France and the Netherlands. (Photo by Alexander Hassenstein/Getty Images)

Jules Kounde was part of the France starting XI against Germany last week and had an injury scare. But it was not a major issue as the defender returned to action last night in the win against Chile and will be back in Barcelona fit and fine.

Joao Felix and Joao Cancelo were part of the Portugal squad but were rested for the first friendly against Sweden. The pair were part of the starting XI against Slovenia last night as Felix played the whole game and Cancelo featured for 88 minutes, even as their team lost 2-0.

Of all the Barcelona players on national team duty, Robert Lewandowski was the only one not involved in friendlies as he led Poland to the UEFA Euro 2024 after helping them beat Estonia and Wales (on penalties) to book a place in the summer’s tournament.

Meanwhile, Raphinha was in action for Brazil, playing 79 minutes in the 1-0 win over England last week and featuring for 45 minutes against Spain at the Bernabeu on Tuesday night.

Raphinha played for Brazil against England and Spain. (Photo by Denis Doyle/Getty Images)

Ronald Araujo was part of the Uruguay squad but did not feature in their friendly against Euskadi last week. Furthermore, he was released by manager Marcelo Bielsa on Monday, meaning he was not part of the friendly against Ivory Coast either.

Fermin Lopez was in action for the Spain Under-21 national team in the 2-0 defeat to Slovakia last weekend and the 1-0 win over Belgium on Tuesday, playing around 130 minutes of football across the two matches.

Hector Fort and Marc Guiu were part of the Spain Under-19 side that defeated Kosovo and Austria (both 2-1), with Fort starting both games and Guiu coming in as a substitute.

From the Barça Atletic squad, Mika Faye made his debut for Senegal last week, marking it with a stunning goal in the 3-0 win over Gabon. He did not play against Benin.

Jaume Cuellar of Barça Atletic played for Bolivia in their friendlies against Andorra and Algeria, starting in the latter.

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