FC Barcelona returned to training on Thursday afternoon after the players had been given a day off by Frank Rijkaard. The practice at La Masia fields saw Zambrotta, Toure and Marquez back with the group and close to returning to play after having been sidelined recently due to muscle injuries. The Italian international and the Ivorian midfielder are set to be back in the squad list already for the league game against Almeria on Sunday.

Lionel Messi did not join his team-mates in the group session but instead did separate physical work. The Argentinian star ran on the training field for some minutes and then headed to the gym to exercise with one of Barça’s trainers. The club have decided to set a specific work plan for Messi aimed at preventing injuries, after the three matches and several long trips the player has had in the past ten days.