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It's been three years since Barcelona last stopped off In China. Since then, the Spanish giants have won La Liga twice, the Champions league and dazzled fans across the world with their stunning style of football. Barcelona are in Beijing on a short tour which has got the city buzzing. Nick Jones went in search of a player many defenders can not get near.
After taking out a 150 Million Euro loan earlier this summer, many local pundits are asking questions. Is their appearance in Beijing simply a commercial venture or is it about pre season fitness. The likes of David Villa, Xavi Hernandez, and Andreas Inesta along with many of Spains World cup winning team have not made the trip.
The likes of Swedish striker Zlatan Ibrahimovich, Barca's crown Jewell Lionel Messi and manager Pep Guardiola are in Beijing despite crossing 8 times zones, were remarkably fresh having landed 12 hours earlier.
Messi and his team mates have a full travel itinerary for four days. They will conclude their tour with a game against Beijing Guoan. But as yet, it's not sure if the diminutive Argentinean will start, let alone play after being contractually obligated to do so in south Korea.
Barcelona striker Lionel Messi said, "It was not controversial for me, they needed me to play, then I played. I didn't have any problems with the training""I want to get in good shape and keep training to be in perfect form. "
Messi wants to play every game, but will Chinese fans get to see their idol on the Birdsnest pitch? That's a decision that rests with his manager.
Barcelona manager Pep Guardiola said, "I will talk to Messi and the physical trainer and find out if it's a good time for him to play again. Also how long he can play for. It does depend on how he feels this week."
The last thing Pep Guardiola wants is a bruising physical encounter with Guaon, a side assembled at half the price it cost David Villa to move from Valencia to Barca, so what does he expect?
Barcelona mamager Pep Guardiola said, "I've watched them playing 2 or three matches. It's a dynamic team. They are Chinese champions. I think they are prepared for the match."
If Fans and players at the world cup thought the Vuvuzela was noisy. At 3am local time, Barcelona caught and heard glimps of what they can expect when they step out at the Birds Nest stadium On Sunday.
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