With many more players than Barcelona are accustomed to during international breaks, they returned to training on Tuesday thinking of the grueling schedule ahead of them. After four days off for the non-internationals, they players were back working under Ernesto Valverde, who greeted his players one by one before the session.
There were several players back from their international commitments. Both first-team goalkeepers, Marc-Andre ter Stegen (played against Peru but was a substitute against France for Germany) and Jasper Cillessen (who played against Peru and France for Holland) were back.
Also back in training were France internationals Samuel Umtiti and Ousmane Dembele, as well as Luis Suarez, who scored twice in Uruguay's win over Mexico.
Malcom & Samper
However, Valverde is still without Malcom, who trained on his own after injuring his ankle in training last week. It is unlikely he will make the trip to Real Sociedad this weekend. Sergi Samper is in the same boat with a similar injury to the Brazilian.
To strengthen the group, and with the objective of giving them more exposure to the first team, Valverde called up Barça B left-back Juan Miranda and midfielder Riqui Puig.
Valverde is now preparing for a marathon of games in the coming weeks: Barça are back in league action at Anoeta on Saturday and four days later they face PSV in the Champions League at Camp Nou at the new European kick-off time of 18.55h.
The team will end the week with the visit of Girona on Sunday, Sep. 23 (20.45h). The following week will see two more league games: Leganés-Barça (Wed, Sept. 26) and Barça-Athletic (Sat., Sept. 29).
That will be the last game of September and October starts with the Champions League and a trip to London to face Tottenham at Wembley. Finally, Barça then play Valencia at Mestalla on Sunday, Oct. 7. Then, there's finally a break... for another round of international football.
In total, seven games in 23 days which could play a big role in Barça Champions League progress and their hopes in La Liga.