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A large number of the FC Barcelona first team are off on international duty this week, but that doesn’t mean a week off for the ones that are left behind. Not only is training going on as normal but the week also brings a friendly at FC Cartagena (Wednesday, kick off @ 7.00pm CET).
You can watch the game from anywhere in the world live on this website. In order to do so, all you need to do is register as a Barça Fan (it’s totally free and just takes a few seconds). You can also view the game on the official Barça app.
The game is being played to raise funds for the victims of the serious flooding that hit the region of Murcia in September of this year, when a year’s worth of rain fell in just 24 hours causing devastation to farmland, the loss of homes and several fatalities.
FC Cartagena was founded in 1995 but is effectively a continuation of an older club called Cartagena CF. Not to be confused with another side called Cartagena FC, which is now effectively a feeder club to FC Cartagena.
Until 2012 they were playing in the second tier of the Spanish system (Segunda A) but are now in the third tier (Segunda B), where they are currently four points clear at the top of Group 4.
Their Uruguayan manager Gustavo Munúa was a goalkeeper at Deportivo la Coruña, Malaga and Levante, so he knows what it is like to face Barça. In fact, he has been on the receiving end of goals from Gerard Piqué and Leo Messi.
One of the club’s top scorers this season, Pablo Caballero, also hails from Uruguay, having scored the same total of three as Elady Zorrilla.
As well as two friendlies back in the ‘old days’, Barça have crossed paths with Cartagena twice in the cup, winning comfortably on both occasions. Curiously, back in 1989, in a side coached by Johan Cruyff and featuring two great players who are now great TV pundits, Gary Lineker and Julio Salinas, one of the Barça goalscorers was indeed a certain Ernesto Valverde.
1930: Friendly at Les Corts
FC Barcelona 3 (Ramon, Arocha and Parera) Cartagena 1
1966: Friendly in Cartagena
Cartagena 1 FC Barcelona 3 (Re, Verges and Vidal)
1989: Copa del Rey round of 32
Cartagena 0 FC Barcelona 3 (Valverde, Salinas, Amor)
FC Barcelona 4 (Amor 2, Salinas 2) Cartagena 0
2013: Copa del Rey round of 32
Cartagena 1 FC Barcelona 4 (Pedro 2, Cesc, Dongou)
FC Barcelona 3 (Pedro, OG, Neymar) Cartagena 0
Apart from the players that are off playing for their countries, Nelson Semedo and Jordi Alba are still missing due to injury and Ivan Rakitic has returned from the Croatian team camp with an Achilles problem. Samuel Umtiti also sits this game out.
So this means an excellent chance to see some of the less regular players in action, as well as several inclusions from Barça B.
First team: Neto (GK), Gerard Piqué, Ousmane Dembélé, Carles Aleñá, Sergi Roberto, Junior Firpo
Barça B: Sergi Puig (GK), Carles Pérez, Dani Morer, Guillem Jaime, Sergio Akieme, Oscar Mingueza, Ronald Araujo, Chumi, Riqui Puig, Ferran Sarsanedas, Monchu, Alex Collado, Jandro Orellana, Kike Saverio, Hiroki Abe and Alejandro Marqués.
The trip to Cartagena in pictures
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