FC Barcelona submitted their 30 man squad for the 2012/3 UEFA Champions League two weeks ahead of the first group stage fixtures. The highlight inclusions are the last man to raise the trophy for the club, Eric Abidal, and La Masia gem (but also increasingly controversial prospect) Gerard Deulofeu. Abidal has set a goal to return to action by December or January so he will not take part in any of the group stages, but there was no way that the Barça ethos would have let him be excluded from the list. Tito and the club have been extremely supportive of the Frenchman, saying that they are waiting for him and ready to help however they can.
Deulofeu’s narrative is somewhat different. It should be noted that Deulofeu is part of the “List B” category. According to the 2012/3 UEFA Champions League regulations clauses 18.15, clubs may register an unlimited number of “List B” players. Clause 18.16 defines these players as “born on or after 1 January 1991 and has been eligible to play for the club concerned for any uninterrupted period of two years since his 15th birthday by the time he is registered with UEFA. Players aged 16 may be registered if they have been registered with the participating club for the previous two years without interruption”. The slight bit of hullabaloo around his inclusion stems from the fact that B team manager Eusebio has been benching Deulofeu recently in an attempt to punish him (and resultantly teach him) for not defending enough. Still, not much should be read into his inclusion being that he is a “List B” entrant (effectively a zero sum entry), along with Sergi Gómez, Planas, Sergi Roberto, Rafinha, and Tello.
FC Barcelona kicks off the campaign September 19th at home versus Spartak Moscow.
Source: Sport; Image: Miguel Ruiz (FCB)