January 23, 2019
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Valverde leads Barcelona's last practice of week

 FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) celebrates after scoring the 1-1 equalizer during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and SD Huesca at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, Sept. 2, 2018. EPA-EFE FILE/TONI ALBIR

FC Barcelona's Lionel Messi (L) celebrates after scoring the 1-1 equalizer during the Spanish La Liga soccer match between FC Barcelona and SD Huesca at Camp Nou in Barcelona, Spain, Sept. 2, 2018. EPA-EFE FILE/TONI ALBIR

Barcelona, Sep 6 (efe-epa).- A smaller Barcelona squad on Thursday went through its last training session of the week with all available players from the first team.

Those who missed the practice had been called up for international play by their respective national teams with many to participate in the upcoming UEFA Nations League opening matches.

However, Argentina's super star forward and captain Lionel Messi - who decided to take a break from his national team after Argentina's frustrating 2018 FIFA World Cup campaign - stayed put in Barcelona, taking part in the practice led by Barça coach Ernesto Valverde.

Also present at Barcelona's home stadium Camp Nou for practice was Spain's left-back Jordi Alba, who did not make the most recent squad.

Barcelona, currently at the top of the La Liga standings with nine points, will take on Real Sociedad on Sept. 15.

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