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14 July 2017

Lionel Messi and Neymar miss Ernesto Valverde’s first training session as Barcelona boss but Luis Suarez takes part

ERNESTO VALVERDE took his first training session as Barcelona boss without a number of his superstars.

As well as attacking duo Lionel Messi and Neymar, Sergio Busquets, Andres Iniesta, Jordi Alba and Gerard Pique were absent.

Lionel Messi and Neymar are in Japan fulfilling commitments for sponsors Rakuten
Lionel Messi and Neymar are in Japan fulfilling commitments for sponsors Rakuten
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Ernesto worked with the Barcelona squad for the first time
Ernesto worked with the Barcelona squad for the first time
Getty Images

Messi, Neymar, Pique and Arda Turan were in Tokyo to promote sponsors Rakuten.

Busquets, Denis Suarez, Iniesta, Alba, Lucas Digne and Samuel Umtiti have been given extended breaks due to their international commitments.

And Confederations Cup rivals Marc-Andre ter Stegen and Andre Gomes complete the list of high-profile absentees.

Valverde padded out his depleted squad, which included Luis Suarez, with five Barca B players – Sergi Palencia, Carles Alena, Marc Cucurella, Marlon Santos and Vitinho.

The internationals will return on Friday, while Messi and Neymar finally join their teammates after returning from Japan a day later.

Valverde drafted in five Barca B players to fill out his squad
Valverde drafted in five Barca B players to fill out his squad
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Barca had four superstars bust promoting the club in Japan
Barca had four superstars bust promoting the club in Japan
Alamy

Garard Pique and Arda Turan joined Messi and Neymar in Tokyo
Alamy

Garard Pique and Arda Turan joined Messi and Neymar in Tokyo[/caption]

Barcelona are heading to the US for their pre-season tour, with their first clash against Juventus in New Jersey taking place on July 23.

They will then face Manchester United in Washington on July 27 before the making history with first ever El Clasico clash Stateside.

Luis Suarez was rthe only one of the MSN trio present
Luis Suarez was the only one of the MSN trio present
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Barcelona will take on Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid in the US
Barcelona will take on Juventus, Manchester United and Real Madrid in the US
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Valverde took over from Luis Enrique this summer
Valverde took over from Luis Enrique this summer
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Barca will hope to improve on their disappointing last campaign
Barca will hope to improve on their disappointing last campaign
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Real Madrid will face their Catalan rivals on July 30 in what is sure to be a hit with US fans.




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