Monday, September 25, 2017

Ronaldo to skip ICC, but Barca bring Messi, Suarez & Neymar

SoccerNews in La Liga 11 Jul 2017

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Cristiano Ronaldo will play no part in the International Champions Cup, but fans in the United States are set to see Barcelona trio Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar.

Real Madrid named their 26-man squad for the USA tour on Tuesday and four-time Ballon d’Or winner Ronaldo was a notable and expected absentee.

Ronaldo, 32, featured at the Confederations Cup in Russia, though he left the tournament before Portugal’s third-place play-off match to be with his newborn twins, having helped Madrid to LaLiga and Champions League glory.

Zinedine Zidane’s Madrid – who open their ICC campaign against Manchester United on July 23 – still includes a host of stars, including Gareth Bale, Karim Benzema, Toni Kroos, Luka Modric, Isco, Marcelo and new signing Theo Hernandez.

Alvaro Morata is also in the travelling party, despite widespread speculation of an imminent departure from the Spanish and European champions.

Morata was tipped to join United before they turned to Romelu Lukaku, and Premier League champions Chelsea have now emerged as a likely destination for the Spain forward.

While Madrid will be without Ronaldo, fellow ICC participants Barca can call upon Messi, Suarez and Neymar.

Messi, who finally signed a contract extension after marrying his long-term partner Antonella Roccuzzo in Rosario, headlines Ernesto Valverde’s first Barca squad.

Valverde replaced Luis Enrique at the end of 2016-17 and his Barca team also features Javier Mascherano, Andres Iniesta, Gerard Pique, Ivan Rakitic and Arda Turan.

However, first-choice goalkeeper Marc-Andre ter Stegen is not involved after helping Germany win the Confederations Cup.

Barca face 2016-17 Champions League runners-up Juventus in New Jersey on July 22.

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