Gerard Piqué chatting with his Spain team mates

Piqué and Spain kick of the defence of their World Cup title against Holland / PHOTO: FIFA.COM

After two goals from Neymar led Brazil to 3-1 victory in the World Cup opener against Croatia, the bulk of Barça’s representatives get their campaigns under way this Friday.

After his starring role in last night’s game, Neymar commented that “I was hoping for a good debut, but not as good as that. It was unthinkable that I’d get two goals in such an important game and that gives me strength for the rest of the tournament”.

Day two begins with the face-off involving the other two teams in Group A, Alex Song’s Cameroon against Mexico (6.00 PM CET). That’s followed by a repeat of the final four years ago in South Africa, with several Barça players once again in the Spain squad that takes on Holland, now managed by former FCB boss Louis Van Gaal. That game kicks off at 9.00 PM CET. The day ends with Alexis and his promising Chile side taking on rank outsiders Australia (12.00 AM CET), so there’s Barça interest in all three of today’s fixtures.

Mascherano on renewal

Argentina’s World Cup challenge begins on Sunday against newcomers Bosnia Herzegovina. Speaking from the team camp, Javier Mascherano commented on the recent extension of his Barça contract until June 30, 2018. “I’m very happy to have renewed my contract with Barça” he said. “It means I’ll be playing for them for the next four years.”