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Barça found the target six times against Club León. PHOTO: GERMÁN PARGA - FCB

There’s not long to go before the 2014/15 season officially gets under way with Barça entertaining Elche at the Camp Nou. That’s on Sunday night at 9.00 PM CET, although Luis Enrique and his side have been limbering up for the big day with five preseason friendlies in different places and with very different outcomes. Here we have a quick look back at how things are shaping up:

 

-On July 19, and just four days after reporting back to training, Barça were guests of Recreativo Huelva for their traditional Trofeo Colombino event. Barça scored the solitary goal in a 1-0 win, scored by Joan Roman. The highlights included debuts for two goalkeepers, Ter Stegen and Jordi Masip.

 

-Two weeks later, on August 2, and after a week of training at St George’s Park in England, Barça stopped off on the way home to face Nice at the Allianz Riviera. The game ended 1-1. There was plenty of evidence that things were heading in the right direction, but it would still take time for this team to fully gel.

 

-On August 6, Barça faced Rafa Benítez’s Napoli, who were preparing for their crunch Champions League playoff with Athletic Bilbao. The Italians won 1-0 in a game played in Geneva, the first defeat for Barça under Luis Enrique, although the next two games would see a dramatic turnaround in fortunes.

 

-Away to HJK Helsinki, Barça made it clear from the very first minute who was going to boss the game. The Finns were outclassed to the tune of a 6-0 defeat, with goals from Munir (2), Sergi Roberto, Piqué, Bartra and Sandro, showing that the Barça machine was finally moving into top gear.

 

-Finally, August 19 was the day of the Joan Gamper Trophy, with Messi and Neymar back in the team and about to put on an exhibition of quality football against Mexican guests Club León, in a game before which former Rafa Márquez was given a hearty reception from the fans of his former club. The game itself ended in another 6-0 win, with Neymar finding the target twice and Messi getting another, while two B team players were also rewarded with goals: Munir (2) and Sandro.

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