Time for a quick round-up of team news! As you can see from the picture above, Jordi Alba was at the club today to do an interview, shake some hands, and pose in front of the club crest. Tomorrow he will have his medical, formally sign his contract, and be presented to the public at the Camp Nou at 17.00 local time. Welcome, Jordi! We’re glad to have you.
Now that the Euros are over most of the first team are on a well-deserved vacation. Some others have been named to the preliminary teams for the Olympics. Dani Alves will likely be representing Brazil, and is reportedly almost fully recovered from breaking his collarbone. The call-ups for the Spanish team include Thiago, Tello, Montoya, and Jordi Alba. This means they will miss most, if not all, of Barça’s preseason. It’s a bit unfortunate in Alba’s case as he won’t have a chance to train or play with the rest of his new teammates until the new season begins, but as he is a La Masia product as well as a member of the senior NT I don’t expect him to have much trouble adapting. And of course there is always the prospect of Spain getting eliminated early and everyone getting plenty of rest after all!
The UEFA Under-19 Euros are underway right now in Estonia, and two Barcelona players are on the team: Gerard Deulofeu and Alejandro Grimaldo. I didn’t get a chance to watch their game against Greece on July 3rd, but Spain won 2-1, and all reports indicate that Grimaldo was a monster on the left side of the field. He is still only 16. Their next game is against Portugal on Friday July 6. You can find all the info here.
The other big news is of course Andres Iniesta’s impending wedding, which will be happening this weekend at the beautiful Castell de Tamarit near Tarragona on the Mediterranean coast SW of Barcelona. I’m sure the Spanish papers will be dissecting the guest list for evidence of who is feuding (or not) with whom. At any rate, I hope they release a few pictures to the media because seeing Iniesta happy is one the great joys in life. 😀 (Michele, any chance of you sneaking in and posing as an official photographer?)